A book about friendly animals of all stripes and colors, from every corner of the globe, growing, playing, swimming, flying, hunting, feeding, and dying. These pictures are precisely drawn in pencil and then carefully fleshed out with watercolors in such a way that no matter how complicated the scene (in one picture, over 70 different species can be counted), every detail can be surveyed--nothing gets lost in the whole. The illustrations are imaginatively conceived--big tableaux, little scenes juxtaposed with one another, pictures laid out like diagrams (e.g., tracing the growth of a butterfly)--and very animated. Although the animals in this book are sometimes agressive toward others shown, they are amiable enough toward readers. The text--a rhyme or two per page--doesn't quite live up to the pictures; amid a few felicitous lines (""It's naptime for this dreamy bunch/stuffed and sleeping after lunch"") are flat ones: ""Sometimes life is brutally stopped--/one animal catches another and eats it up."" (This is depicted in the illustration.) An agreeable book, if somewhat lopsided, that gives readers a good idea of what it must have been like inside Noah's Ark.