ERIC CARLE'S ANIMALS ANIMALS
First, a word for the anthologist: the 62 poems Whipple has assembled as companions to Carle's flamboyant art are so splendid that they could easily stand alone; such greats as Dickinson, Sandburg, and Kipling appear along with numerous children's favorites--e.g., Worth, Behn, Coatsworth. Mostly familiar, they also include a few surprises and some international entries. Altogether, they are so good that on first reading the yen to share them aloud is even greater than the yen to share the art--rich and wonderful as it is. Carle's technique--collages of textured, translucent tissue paper that he prepares himself, combined with directly painted areas--is familiar from his deservedly popular picture books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar: 6,000,000 copies). In this generously sized volume, it is used to full advantage. There's plenty of visual variety--a whale that stretches over two double spreads; a giraffe for which the book is turned 90 degrees; a few pages where several poems appear (each with its own small illustration); as well as many grand double spreads of creatures from tawny camels marching over the desert to a glorious blue-and-green hippo. No author index, but there is an index of animals as well as an index of first lines. A treat!