Wipe my drool,"" says the baby-hero in Babble to his father, ""and I'll tell you a story."" Actually he tells several stories which, as transcribed by the father, parody the loss of innocence and other picaresque adventures. Baby leaves home, not yet toilet-trained, to make his way in the world. He demonstrates his ability to disguise himself (as Pagina Man, Batman, alias Bathman, alias Boatman, alias Bloatman, etc.) and live by his wits as he searches for truth, his grandma, and someone who will change his diapers without expecting excessive gratitude in return. Babble risks more than last year's Reruns and the point of view wobbles badly at times--too often, the (baby-)hero's voice is obscured by that of the father's and the narrative loses its edge. Still there are some superb one-liners. How would Voltaire have reacted to Babble? Probably he would have laughed. Probably you will too.