cover image Animal Lingo

Animal Lingo

Pam Conrad. HarperCollins Publishers, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023401-0

In a sort of Berlitz bestiary, this picture book translates the signature sounds of 13 animals and birds into diverse foreign tongues. Thus, turkeys in Israel cry ``Holderolderol,'' a raven in the Yukon exclaims ``Klawk!'' and the Tanzanian wildebeest says ``Blart!'' (But the nighttime sound made by youngsters, it seems, is universal-a yawn.) Conrad (The Tub People) provides brief notations that range from the prettily descriptive (``In Finland, beneath a tender birch tree that shines in the dusk'') to the geographically specific (``In Ireland, in County Longford on the road to Drumlish'')-this latter variety, though lending a certain realism, will be lost on the intended audience. Beneath these introductions, the sounds stand out vividly in brightly hued script. Falk's (The Same Wind) full-page paintings are more compelling than the text; their vibrant colorations, scenic backgrounds and slightly primitive cast merge to create a handsome sense of place. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)