Though the compilers generally steer clear of the most heavily anthologized samples when selecting from the works of such well known poets as e. e. cummings, Theodore Roethke, Randall Jarrell, W. C. Williams, and May Swenson, still this is less fresh and sparkling overall than Hill and Perkins' New Coasts and Strange Horizons (1974). Perhaps it's because the collection's unifying theme makes it too receptive to fanciful numbers best sampled more sparingly--and too convenient a gathering place for such lightweight children's versifiers as David McCord, William Jay Smith, and John Ciardi (to name only a few). Of course there are finds here for anyone; Kenneth Patchen's ""A Trueblue Gentleman"" and George MacBeth's ""The Red Herring"" are refreshing blasts of unpretentious fun, and Daniel Halpern's ""The Gossip;"" as playful as any, has that faint hint of eeriness missing from the nostalgia pieces on unicorns and the like. But certainly such standbys as Walter de la Mare, Ian Serraillier, and E. V. Rieu don't need further exposure in juvenile collections. Spotty.