Ogden Nash is considered one of the country's best-known writers of
humorous poetry, admired for his clever rhymes and lyrical verse.
He has written several books for children.
The late Ogden Nash's (Custard and Company) wordplayful 1936 rhyme gets a fresh start with timeless illustrations by Munsinger (Ho for a Hat!; One Hungry Monster). Title character Custard, the ``realio, trulio little pet dragon,'' lives with young Belinda, her dog Mustard, her cat Ink and her mouse Blink; while these housemates boast of their brave deeds, cowardly Custard cries for ``a nice safe cage.'' Yet when a pirate invades their home, the smaller pets desert Belinda (``Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household,/ And little mouse Blink strategically mouseholed''), and Custard courageously saves the day. Munsinger's watercolor-and-ink cartoons have a classic quality: Ink the cat appears Victorian, and there's a trace of John Tenniel's designs in pug-nosed, striped-hose-wearing Belinda. Custard is a little more up to date‘like a lime-green beanbag with slender purple wings‘and his moment of bravery reminds ``fearless'' readers of the purpose of guardians in a sometimes scary world. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)