cover image That's Good! That's Bad!

That's Good! That's Bad!

Margery Cuyler. Henry Holt & Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-1535-5

At the zoo a boy is lifted into the sky by his balloon. ``Oh, that's good. No, that's bad! ''--because the balloon pops when it hits a tree deep in the jungle. ``Oh, that's bad. No, that's good! ''--because the wide-eyed lad falls into a river and climbs onto a hippo, who takes him to shore. Thus incidents that appear to be positive turn out to be negative (and vice-versa) as the child confronts an extremely colorful bevy of animals, including baboons who chase him up a tree, a hissing snake whom he mistakes for a vine, a kindly elephant who pulls him out of quicksand and a stork who flies him back to the zoo, into the arms of his parents. Cuyler's ( Fat Santa ) fanciful tale is energized by exclamations (``WHEEEE!''; ``WHOOPS!''; ``GLUG! GLUG!'') that beg to be read aloud. Catrow's witty cartoons paint the jungle in a humorous light and hilariously depict the boy's alternating terror and relief. And that's good ! Ages 4-7. (Oct.)