Flapping right over Never Pet a Porcupine (1964, p. 1140, J-364), Mr. Laycock rounds up 18 more of the most ordinary animals, insects, birds and crustaceans. Many in this batch are the unlovely or widely unloved. For instance, goats have been ""stinken"" since Chaucer put it in a poem, although goats seldom are. The untrustworthy cowbird of the title, who always parks her eggs in some other bird's nest, is really quite a good neighbor otherwise. Even the crawfish has admirable qualities because it takes ""...intestinal fortitude to shed the lining from its intestinal tract,"" as it must. These are not definitive introductions. They're short, personal, quietly amusing discussions capable of leading the reader to take a closer, unbiased look at the living things around him. Mr. Laycock has found nature to be full of beauty, astonishingly ingenious and humorous. His book makes good armchair natural history for the youngest readers in this age group.