This elegant volume is a fine diversion for teenagers and even older readers, but the peculiar nature of the tales renders it less suitable for a picture-book audience. In each of 14 spreads, a species of flower figures into a brief story and illustration. The text of each fable, in small type with justified margins and exaggerated leading between the lines, aids in conveying their overall tone--mysterious, dark, full of pronouncements, e.g., ""Now the mimosa shall weep her golden tears in an old woman's hand."" Scents have sound; a man dies of sadness before he finds the maiden of whom he has dreamed and who springs to life from his tears. In fact, a lot of folks die in the course of these moody fables. The accomplished, mesmerizing pictures recall Magritte and DalÂ¡: a sliver of moon imprisoned in a bird cage; an eye on the back of a hand; wild roots and branches grasping and snaring. The book may be excessively poetic or just excessively indulgent, but it leaves logic too far behind for most children.