Owliver loves to act, and Aruego depicts the young brown owl standing one-legged in a row of much taller flamingos. . . or trying his best to droop his neck like the nine red and blue vultures with whom he is sharing a tree. . . or hanging with six young possums from their mother's tail. . . . The trouble is that though his mother encourages his talent and even gives him tap dancing lessons (on a turtle's shell), his father wants him to be a doctor or a lawyer. This is not the sort of conflict that preschoolers appreciate, but Owliver's ultimate career choice -- he becomes a fireman -- has some appeal on their level, and the illustrators' playful ingenuity makes his early performances worth watching.