I was itchy. I was ticklish. I was all things confused. Life was so big. And I was so small."" In his best venture so far, Max the dog searches for the Meaning of Life and finds several possibilities. Rushing off to fetch a herring for his beloved and very pregnant CrË†pes, he is diverted by one Vivek ""I am your genial genie,/your garrulous guru,/your suave swami"" Shabaza-zaza-za into a tour of India, where he finds holy cows, cricket, the Taj Mahal, a bodji tree, a recipe for a nice, nonalcoholic toddy, and many other things, then composes a love song and returns to CrË†pes in time to meet three new offspring. The typography and page design may be less venturesome here than in some of Kalman's previous books, but her writing is as funny and furiously paced as ever and her seemingly slapdash illustrations still sophisticated and childlike at once. She observes people, religions, and customs in witty but respectful ways, and as in Chicken Soup, Boots (1993), beneath all the silliness lurk important ideas, thoughtfully expressed.