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GIFT BOOKS IN BRIEF : ZOOBABIES <i> by Michael O’Neill (Villard: $17)</i> .

Here’s a present for your most uptight, Type-A friends. Watch them dissolve into a molten mass of cooing, clucking and gurgling as they turn from Violet, the baby Nubian Ibex to Chubby, the Pygmy Hippopotamus to a personal favorite, Goblin, the Siamang Gibbon. The 26 baby animals are photographed in black and white by portrait photographer Michael O’Neill. (In real life, O’Neill shoots celebrities such as Jack Nicholson and Arnold Schwarzenegger for such magazines as Life, Mirabella and Interview.) We recommend Sleeping Beauty, the Pot-bellied Pig, for the really hard-boiled.


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