cover image All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir

All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir

Bill Staines, Margot Zemach. Dutton Books, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44469-5

Staines offers a song-turned-picture book, with a lilting refrain that holds the folksy text together: ``All God's critters got a place in the choir-- / Some sing low, some sing higher, / Some sing out loud on the telephone wire / And some just clap their hands /Or paws / Or anything they got.'' The five stanzas of this round gather all creation, from the bass bullfrog, the mooing cow, fiddling crickets, and on up the musical scale to the owls and jaybirds. Zemach's colorful paintings expand the hullaballoo; she shows the animals gathering for some hooting, howling and mooing around the farmyard. The simple melody appears at the end. This book has appeal for all ages; thanks to the song's sentiments of tolerance, even the most tone-deaf readers will feel free to belt out the chorus. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)