Each of the 17 haiku in this collection explores the essence of an animal, the words forming a sort of riddle answered in Rand's accompanying double-page illustration. The title poem, "If not for the cat/And the scarcity of cheese,/I could be content," features a mouse looking at a bewhiskered nose through a hole; a jellyfish drifts across a spread in "Boneless, translucent,/We undulate, undulate,/Gelatinously." Prelutsky shows his command of word choice through a minimalist form that is perfectly matched by Rand's control of his mixed-media artwork to create a wonderful celebration of the art of haiku. This book, like George Shannon's Spring (Greenwillow, 1996) and Dawnine Spivak's Grass Sandals (Atheneum, 1997), shows the continuity and vitality of this ancient poetic form.–Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME
Copyright c Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.