In these 15 singsong rhymes about five city boys who hang out together, Prelutsky makes an effort to show the kids as they really behave away from grownup censors (or, perhaps, as they did behave in film and fiction a couple of generations ago). They smoke in the apartment building cellar and get sick; accidentally break a window playing baseball; fight; deride goody-goody James (""Nobody Calls Him Jim""); and chase away the girls who wait to play with them. One is a klutz, one a tiny terror (who's also a nose-picker), one a worm-eater--and then there's Harvey, the bully of the lot. Harvey always wins (because he cheats), Harvey ties his friends to trees in a ""Practical Joke""--and so, in the final rhyme, Harvey gets his: The other four gang up and roll him down the hill. For similar scruffy kids unmoved by more innocent matter, this might have the appeal of recognition; but Prelutsky's naughty ideas are as stale as his rhythms. For the gang, Chess seems to have crossed her own more monsterly creations with Susan Perl's Healthtex kids.