John Lawrence, . . Candlewick, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-1716-5

Lawrence's (The Mysteries of Zigomar) closely detailed, dynamic vinyl engravings lift this book well above the typical barnyard sound survey. With their bold outlines, burnished colors, rich textures and genial-looking characters, the illustrations pull readers into every spread. The eponymous hero has a gift for mimicry. Strutting around on gangly orange legs, he visits five groups of animals, collecting their distinctive sounds. "This little chick from over the way/ went to skip with the lambs one day," writes Lawrence in a characteristic spread, "And what do you think they heard him say?" On the next spread, the chick is shown leaping into the sky with his fleecy friends as his "Baa" resounds typographically (and repeatedly) through the air. Elsewhere, as the chick entertains a mother duck and her young with his quacking, the aquatic setting becomes a feast of geometric patterns. Sound may be the little chick's forte, but the real pleasure of this book lies in the author/artist's visual imagination. Ages 2-up. (Feb.)