Sixteen simple unrhymed verses, small in size (four-to-ten lines) and sensibility, cast as lullabies or night songs sung by animal mothers or others (a giant, a troll, a mermaid, a shepherd). The opening "Whale's Lullaby" shows us we can't expect anything fresh and new: "Asleep in the deep,/ Lullabied by the ocean,/ Rest, calf, on my back./ I am your crib and your cradle./ I am both rocker and rock." Boldest perhaps is "Mother Owl's Song," not the stuff of conventional lullabies: ". . . Dream, child, of the blood,/ The sudden warmth,/ And the faltering heartbeat/ Beneath your claws." Like the owl's, all the lullabies are matched to their subjects--the bear's deals with hibernation, the wolf's with a midnight hunt, the caterpillar's with metamorphosis (". . . Sleeping Ugly,/ Waking Beauty")--which might help focus a small child's interest where the generally mild imagery does not. With a few snappy exceptions, the pictures are limp.