cover image Consider the Lemming

Consider the Lemming

Jeanne Steig. Farrar Straus Giroux, $9 (46pp) ISBN 978-0-374-31536-8

As with the best of Ogden Nash's verses, Jeanne Steig's poems surprise and amuse with clever wordplay and wry humor. Rhythmic and funny, the poems aptly consider not only the lemming (``No hawing and hemming'') but a variety of animals, both real and imagined. The beaver, for example, shown taking down a totem pole, ``can gnaw through a tree / While you pour the Chablis. / He's a consummate overachiever.'' Of ``Big Snakes,'' the reader is told that ``It doesn't pay to get too fonda / Your python or your anaconda.'' The mole is ``such a misanthropic soul'' that he ``tunnels blindly in the earth / and nothing knows of warmth or mirth.'' There are quips, puns and delicious rhymes throughout, matched in spirit by William Steig's witty pen-and-ink drawings that end with a shark's ``Fin.'' A wily collaboration of two very kindred spirits. Michael di Capua Books. All ages. (May)