More like a ""second"" than a ""first book of poems,"" this large, generously illustrated volume will serve children from preschool through much of their elementary years. The Kennedys' combined experience as poet, educators, and writers is evident in the variety and depth of the selections here, topically grouped (""Play,"" ""Birds, Bugs, and Beasts,"" etc.) and ranging from the classical (Stevenson and Lear) through folk rhymes and songs to a good assortment of more recent poets (Langston Hughes, David McCord, N. M. Bodecker). The more than 100 poems also include a nicely varied sprinkling of Ogden Nash, Emily Dickinson, Dorothy Aldis, and numerous others, all illustrated in appealing, conscientiously multiethnic watercolors with an old-fashioned flavor (several recall Jessie Wilcox Smith or the Petershams) but with some contemporary touches as well. A good addition to the poetry section that would also make a fine gift. Index.