Animals That Ought To BeIllustrated by Leonard Baskin

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If you dreamed up a new kind of animal, what would it look like? What could it do? In these imaginative poems you’ll find animals that nobody has ever heard of – but that certainly ought to exist.

You’ll meet the bright-eyed Nightlight Bird who chases away shadows. And a Roombroom is handy when your mom demands that you clean up. But some imaginary creatures can cause trouble, – like the Nightmare Scarer, who’s even spookier than the bad dreams he frightens away, or the Leftover Eater who just won’t stop! Maybe it’s a good thing that animals are the way they are.

Each poem in this collection is paired with a striking painting by renowned artist Leonard Baskin, and will inspire young readers to invent their own animals that ought to be.

  • A Children’s Book Committee Book of the Year – 1996

Michelson’s poems address children’s fears, concerns and everyday problems through imagination and fantasy.
—School Library Journal

The poems have a delightful musical quality, the lilt punctuated by an occasional twist of the unexpected…
—Kirkus Reviews

Imaginative and colorful, nonsensical and clever… both the poems and the art are strong.
—Publishers Weekly

Witty, wonderfully inventive rhymed couplets. Michelson is a poet who can really get into the head of a child, whatever the mood: curious, angry, jealous, frustrated, frightened, … all of it.
—The Detroit News

Fourteen animal oddities are given imaginative reality in a collection of light verse interpreted in brilliant expressionistic paintings…
—The Horn Book