Little Olivia Wendell is without neighbors, so she has learned to play alone. In her imagination, she populates the empty house next door with an inviting family and lots of lively farm animals. At story's end, a moving van appears in front of the vacant house and a girl just Olivia's age arrives at the gate between the two yards. The universal preschooler's wish for a friend is happily granted in Hough's very simple first book, although slightly older children will wonder why Olivia doesn't go to school and why no parents or siblings appear--she sleeps in a blanket in a chair at night. Kvasnosky (Mr. Chips, 1996) graces the book with her distinctive illustrations, in which boldly drawn forms are not quite filled with strong, flat color, so that every shape is enlivened by a white ""halo"" inside its outline. In the pictures, Olivia plays with a toy farm (from which her fantasies take shape) and owns a copy of an earlier book Kvasnosky illustrated, Florence Page Jaques's There Once Was a. Puffin (1995).