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The Morrisons' long poem about the need to let children be "free" relies on a heavy-handed irony ("So they gave little Patty an understanding hug / And put her in a big brown box. / It has carpets and curtains and bean bag chairs / But the door has three big locks") that is predictably countered by a clich'd voice of childhood wisdom ("I know you are smart and I know that you think / You are doing what is best for me. / But if freedom is handled just your way / Then it's not my freedom or free.") This scenario is repeated for a number of children (and stanzas), and the lack of either thematic or narrative development makes the book tedious. Potter's pictures are big and nice, but they just don't have a lot of work to do beyond showing glum-eyed children in locked rooms (oddly, the locks are on the inside, subverting the entire thrust of the text), or happy-faced children gamboling in nature. Kids faced with reading this book might be well advised to take its advice and go out and play instead. r.s.