cover image Ridicholas Nicholas: More Animal Poems

Ridicholas Nicholas: More Animal Poems

J. Patrick Lewis. Dial Books, $14.89 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1328-4

Fans of Lewis and Chess's A Hippopotamusn't-and anyone who relishes quick-on-the-draw wordplay-will welcome this captivating companion volume, a menagerie of 33 poems about animals. Here dogs and cats rub haunches with such less domesticated sorts as the Lounge Lizard and Wrong Way Worms. Adroit verses juggle puns and clever rhymes. Consider, for example, the hippo who could never be found ``on the Amazon/ with silky French pajamazon''; or O 2 B A C-Gull (``A/ B-gull/ Chased/ A/ C-gull./ An/ E-gull/ Chased/ A Flea.'') Although most of the entries are light, Lewis sprinkles this volume with a few serious poems and images: the hawk's scream ``cancels out the sky'' and the owl ``will not stir/ Unless she sees/ A rabbit sigh.'' Chess's characteristic off-beat illustrations are less outre than usual, but the glints in her characters' eyes happily betray her own mischievous sensibility. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)