Merriam doesn't even seem to be trying very hard in this latest collection of 17 unexciting small rhymes. The longest promises also to be the most ambitious, but instead of responding with thought or wit to the title question, ""What Is a Rhyme?,"" it settles mostly for mindless doggerel (""You can rhyme with two/ out of the zoo:/ a hare and a bear,/ a cow and a sow,/ a moose and a goose,/ a cat and a rat/ and how about a wombat?"")--and never takes up the challenge of the most interesting lines, ""What else can you do with a rhyme?/ You can take a rhyme and shake it/ and wake it up. . . ."" Elsewhere we have lesser lessons on ""Portmanteaux"" and ""Fiddle-Faddle"" (""Said the razor, 'Be keen,'/ 'String along,' said the bean. . .""), both of which do too little with what might have been bright ideas. And the faint echoes of Merriam's old satire are just that--with the added offense of throwing ""cotton flannel"" into a TV-commercial collage as a repeated rhyme for ""switch the channel."" Weak.