A delightful collection of modern verse that should be a staple in the young child's library. In a lively testimonial to the values of reading aloud, Jim Trelease introduces this volume of over two hundred rhymes. Prelutsky's flesh and varied selections exhibit a remarkable senstivity to the interests and concerns of the young child--here are poems about everything from baths and birthdays to trying to whistle and trying not to go to bed. Loosely organized around the tempo of a child's day and the seasons of the year, the verses begin in a light and bouncy tone with wake-up poems and end with winding-down-to-sleep poems. The prevalant mood is upbeat and humorous, but the emotional range is broadened by poems such as Odgen Nash's ""The Swallow"" and Dennis Lee's ""Skyscraper."" The poets represented offer a rich sampling of 20th-century verse, from Eleanor Farjon and Dorothy Aldis to modern poets like Karla Kuskin and X.J. Kennedy. There are also some Prelutskian twists here, a page of poems about disgusting eating habits and a takeoff on,""The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe,"" by Beatrix Potter, that should delight the audience. Brown illustrates all this verbal fun with comforting, cozy, cartoon-style art. The full-color illustrations rendered in soft hues with a spacious layout give the child many details to pore over. Although poetry collections abound, few offer such a superb choice for this particular age group, and librarians, too, should find this a valuable tool in selecting poetry for preschool story hours.