cover image Eric Carle's Animals Animals

Eric Carle's Animals Animals

Eric Carle. Philomel Books, $22.99 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21744-9

Exuberantly illustrated by Carle ( The Very Hungry Caterpillar ), this collection of animal poems contains many pleasant surprises. Benjamin Franklin observes, ``What is a butterfly? At best / He's but a caterpillar dressed,'' and Clarence Day reports, ``The ant is knowing and wise; but / he doesn't know enough to take a vacation.'' ``A discovery!'' announces Yaku in a haiku. ``On my frog's smooth green belly /there sits no button.'' Meanwhile, Carle's brilliant patchwork of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish and insects parades up and down tree trunks, alongside cityscapes and--most memorably--is enfolded in the billowing currents of oceans. Seeing and evoking all with a childlike, primitive verve, the illustrator depicts his menagerie at full tilt, with sensuous succulence. All ages. (Sept.)