A first appearance in English for Michio Mado, Japan's 1990 nominee for the Andersen Award. The translator--Japan's Empress--has selected 20 of his brief, delicately phrased poems for this handsome bilingual edition, each page adorned with the same decorative cut-paper frieze of stylized animals by Japan's most renowned illustrator. The poems are disarmingly (and deceptively) simple (of ""A Little Bird"": ""A dewdrop/from the sky?//A bud/of a song?//May I touch you/Just with my eye?""); there are gentle touches of humor or whimsy, and some striking images (""Zebra"": ""In a cage/Of his/Own making""). They have a cumulative effect; the poet is a thoughtful observer who responds to the world of nature with rueful wonder and a gently philosophical tone. Lovely.