cover image Zooful Animals CL

Zooful Animals CL

William Cole. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $17.95 (88pp) ISBN 978-0-395-52278-3

In this hefty (45 poems on 88 pages) sequel to An Arkful of Animals , Cole has again collected zoological poems from diverse American and British sources. A component of gentle mischief unifies most of the works here, such as Theodore Roethke's ``The Whale'': ``There was a most Monstrous Whale: / He had no Skin, he had no Tail. / When he tried to Spout, that Great Big Lubber, / The best he could do was Jiggle his Blubber.'' Also included are quieter verses, such as Kipling's sonorous lullaby ``Seal Mother's Song'' and A. B. Paterson's ``Old Man Playtypus,'' with its beguiling description of the swamp animals sleeping ``like little brown billiard balls / With their beaks tucked neatly under.'' Munsinger presents crisp, lively pen-line and watercolor portraits of the puckish animals. (A few humans find their way into this witty menagerie as well.) Many drawings will provoke chuckles--a ravenous tiger clutches knife and fork, napkin at the ready; an elephant peers miserably out from under his pink gift wrapping. Poems long and short, animals big and small, this volume's got it all--a distinct treat. All ages. (Apr.)