cover image I Love My Buzzard

I Love My Buzzard

Tres Seymour. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-06819-9

For readers bored with such traditional pets as dogs, cats and hamsters, this promising but not wholly successful picture book introduces some weirder pets. A red-haired boy (a virtual twin of the main character Schindler drew for Great-aunt Ida and Her Great Dane, Doc ) praises his menagerie, which includes a buzzard, a bat and a squid. Unfortunately, the narrator's mother is not so fond of these creatures, and she lets him know that either they go or she goes. Seymour abandons the homespun prose of Hunting the White Cow for somewhat brittle rhymes (``Slugs like to sleep in a big jar. / . . . / My mom just drove off in the car''). More commendable are Schindler's unusual illustrations, rendered in colored pencil on speckled, pastel-tone paper so that negative space is not white but gray, pink, blue or orange. Crayony rubbings and sgraffito effects lend texture to every warthog bristle and iguana scale, and flashes of complementary colors brighten the spreads. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)