The Chronicles of Sugar & Spike
The Big Word Mystery
Sugar & Spike #10 
Reprints: None [yet]
Dedication: Carolyn Ernest (age 8), CA
Spike explores the mystery of why some things don't stay in the air when you let them go, and others do. For some reason this gets him into trouble, but then when he repeats what his mother calls him ("Bah Boy"), she's all happy and calls over Sugar's mom to see Spike's new verbal skills. Sugar, meanwhile, demonstrates her own theories on things staying in the air if they have strings attached, resulting in a wooden duck smashing a window. Fortunately the magic words get them out of that jam, so they go out in the world to try it out some more. Their neighbour is out mowing the lawn, but thinking of skipping it to go fishing, just as the kids walk by and start calling him "Bah Boy", leading him to complain to their parents about them being mind-readers.
An excellent look at two common motifs in the stories, the kids experimenting with their version of science to find out why the world works in counter-intuitive ways and the grown-ups getting excited by the kids exhibiting verbal skills when in fact the kids have no idea what those sounds mean.
Characters: Spike, Mr. Wilson (flashback), Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Plumm, Sugar, Mr. Blodgett
Damage: baby bottle, water jug, flower vase, window (wooden duck presumed unharmed)
Punishment: slapped wrists, Spike sits in corner
Sugar's treatment of Spike: jumps off table onto his chest
Well, at first I thought it meant, "I hate you, you're a phooey kid!"