For pooped-out parents who pine for brief bedtime reads, this funny and fast-paced children’s picture book with a zoo full of anxious animals is just what the veterinarian ordered.

Author/illustrator Sherry West and co-illustrator Larkin Stephens-Avery share an artistic appreciation for antsy animals and feathered fowl which they put to good use in It’s Raining Cats! It’s Raining Dogs! It’s Raining Bats! And Pollywogs! (Morgan James).

Avery is the proud progenitor of the pudgy poultry who inspire the feathered flock frantically flying through its end pages. (No chubby chickens came to any harm in the creation of this vegan-friendly book.)

“We have to duck and run for cover while chickens cluck and near us hover!” exclaim unseen participants as they are pelted by poultry. Other owl-eyed Boynton-esque critters freefall through pastel pages.

Children are encouraged to acquire important English language skills as lyrical verse carries parent and child along. The talented team is already at work on the next installment in this silly series. ◊

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