In the lovingly detailed graphic style of Mr. Miacca, Ms. Ness gives precision and personality to the nonsense nursery, rhyme about the indulgent mistress dancing uncertain attendance on her coolly independent dog. Unexpectedly (but why not?) Mother Hubbard's pet is depicted here as a cocky sheep dog, all white and gray shag with a drooping, oversized tongue, and his vital presence on every alternate page quite dominates the smaller figure of the thin and gray old lady. Warmly decorative scenes of shops and markets set off the facing pages of text as Mother Hubbard, accompanied by her cat, trudges from baker to undertaker, tailor to tavern, then hugs her coddled canine contentedly as -- ""The dame said, 'Your servant.' The dog said, 'Bowwow.'"" Once you see that sheepdog you'll understand her devotion.