The inner world of a contemplative little boy--one of those ""children (who) keep to themselves. . . and play different games from the others""--who has no outward reality: no name, no place, and, until the last page, no face. Neither does the watchmaker who gives him the blue marble or the little girl he gives it to at the close. What we see is supposedly what the little boy sees--but the watchmaker's clocks bear more resemblance to Christmas ornaments than to the mechanisms he imagines them, and much of what the marble discloses doesn't fit the description of it. With the people not appearing and the imaginings not matching, it becomes a picture book without depiction.