Koch's and Farrell's effort to match both classic and little-known poems with works of art from the various collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has resulted in a spectacular book. Farrell contributes a simply yet lucidly written introduction, in which she emphasizes the importance of using one's imagination when reading poetry, since it is a ""creative activity."" To help young readers through the poems, Koch and Farrell offer brief notes explaining unfamiliar expressions or terms, commenting on the era in which a verse was written, and suggesting possible interpretations. The poetry selections are grouped according to theme; there is verse inspired by the sun, by the arrival of spring, by infants and children, by love, by the nonsensical, by ""the beauty of ordinary times in ordinary places."" The entries range from Eskimo songs to 17th-century Japanese haikus, the sonnets of Shakespeare, and the poems of Emily Dickinson. The impeccably reproduced works of art are equally diverse; included are illustrations of ancient Egyptian sculpture, medieval tapestries, 19th century Chinese porcelain, French Impressionist paintings and the work of 20th-century American photographers. The buoyancy and/or rhyme of a number of the poems (Tennyson's ""Minnie and Winnie,"" Edward Lear's ""The Owl and the Pussy-Cat,"" Lewis Carroll's ""Jabberwocky"") make them ideal for reading aloud to preschoolers. Yet this is not a book that will be outgrown.