Another of the splendid New Zealander's more light-hearted books (now published here for the first time, although its original date was 1977) comprises 10 wildly zany stories and 17 nifty comic poems (yes, poems--there are passages of unexpected loveliness in this light verse). Mahy has an endlessly inventive imagination. In "The Insect Kingdom That Didn't Get Started," a fly and a spider talk hopefully about changing the world if they ever get out of the vacuum cleaner where they're trapped; but once they've escaped, the spider spins a new web, and the fly flies right off to perform his usual mischief. Never didactic, Mahy wryly observes: "Aren't we lucky. . .that we would have more sense than that." There's often an unexpected twist in her stories, and an underlying seriousness that adds pungency to her wit--as in the story about a crowd that sets out to throw bricks at a harmless monster, with fortunately harmless results but no understanding on either side. As for language--Mahy makes it prance and turn and swoop like the lively characters Blake brings airily to life in his inimitable style (he even makes good fun of the title page's verso). A treasure trove for storytellers, teachers, parents, or browsers.