Life on a rice paddy on the plains of Thailand is a long way from the normal American child's range of experience. This book is one of those earnest attempts to bring a visual and tangible sense of reality to an alien form of existence through the flimsy guise of reader identification with a fictional child from that country. The boy Tam, however, is never interesting as a person; he is simply a paper doll character in foreign dress. And the attempts to enlist the enthusiasm of the reader for the events which are important to Tam (Today, oh today, they would plant the good seed! It was hard to walk gravely and not to dance along the path behind Father"") are ineffectual. It's poor fiction and circuitous information.