Tom's turreted city is Wonderland revisited, his White Rabbit the horseman who summons him from after-school detention to be one of three Guardians of the Treasure in the Castle. Along with his appointed companions, a Hermit who harbors a robin in his beard, and Miss C. (for Cassandra) Peach, a minor magician accompanied by an angel's chorus of speechless children, Tom is sequestered in the tower room of the castle adjoining the treasure. Or imprisoned...for the three soon discover that the city is held in joyless thrall by the Director-in-Chief, Thattun, and that they are pawns in his plot to make off with the treasure. With the aid of the Sacred Cow, the Winged Bull and the sea serpent in the most, Thattun is vanquished. When the Treasure--not gold or gems, but an ineffable, ubiquitous essence--is released, happiness suffuses the city. The three cohorts withdraw, and Tom finds himself in the schoolroom again, with his four hundred assigned lines completed: ""Impossible things don't happen, not very often."" There's method in this madness, and a slipping, sparkling, snapping style. The author of The Giant's Birthday and The Mouse and the Mirage extends her well-tempered wit into the larger realm of satirical fantasy--and a gay time will be had by all.