Today is my heyday!"" exults Marie Louise, the little mongoose from Marie Louise and Christophe (KR, 1974), ""because I have found the sweetest, fattest banana on the Man's tree."" But before she can eat it, Marie Louise is called to babysit the five little possums while their mother rushes off to nurse her father. (He suffers, appropriately, from fainting spells.) The five children--Jake, John, Lucie, Lily and Me (his favorite phrase, ""me too"")--so exhaust Marie Louise with their games, refusal of lunch and consumption of poison berries that she can't even eat her banana that night, but next day when the five come by with flowers for her, ""This is really my heyday!"" To Carlson's quietly sparkling style, the illustrations add their own spots of wit: You don't have to be a possum to recognize the way the babies tug at their mother's tail to keep her home, and that bright yellow, star-spangled witch toad is again on hand to enliven the otherwise soft blue and cinnamon menagerie. A pleasure.