Grandma's pride in her bouncing baby grandchild is tested when she is called on to babysit. Grandma turns herself inside out trying to get baby to repeat a few simple words. ``What terrible teeth Trevor the television tiger has. Say `Tiger,' Baby,'' implores Grandma. ``Dog,'' says Baby. ``Dog'' it turns out, is the only thing Baby can say and it doesn't matter what kind of verbal virtuosity Grandma manufactures, the response from Baby is always ``Dog.'' Grandma, determined to prove her grandchild is clever, spies a dog. ``Such a darling dog, Baby . . . . say `dog,' Baby.'' The obstinate child replies, ``Cat.'' McKee's colorfully textural illustrations are, as usual, loaded with interesting background vignettes: a rather staid older couple give each other sample licks of their ice cream cones; a child slips a mechanical duck into a pond filled with real ducks. Although the story is singular in its direction (some readers may be reminded of David Lloyd's Duck ) and has a somewhat predictable outcome, Grandma's alliterative frenzies are fascinating and readers will find Baby's manipulative stubborness vastly amusing. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
K-Gr 1-- This unoriginal story suffers from a stilted, redundant text and jarring illustrations. The slight plot has Grandma (who looks more like a chubby sister) trying to get baby to name different animals. Baby's only answer is ``dog'' until he is asked to say ``dog.'' Then he switches his reply to ``cat.'' Grandma's exasperation and Baby's final smile are reminiscent of Diane Paterson's Smile for Auntie (Dial, 1976). The illustrations are not without humor, but they are done from such strange perspectives that the total effect is unpleasant. At times people who are supposedly upright are shown standing, lying sideways, and walking upside down. Rosemary Wells' Max's First Word (Dial, 1979) is simpler, funnier, and far more effective. --Lori A. Janick, Parkwood Elementary School, Pasadena, TX.