A stuffed animal saga, appealing because stuffed animals yearning for a home always are, offputting because it goes on for too long about too little. In Mr. Mullins' toy store, Mule isn't bought, and isn't bought, and isn't bought, while one after another Ted (bear) or Jocko (monkey) is carried off. Then, at Christmas time, a little boy takes him away, only to pack him in a parcel--which breaks, landing poor Mule in the post-office storeroom, where he languishes once more. But at the post-office auction he's purchased by a loving little girl who notices, next morning, ""that her newest friend seemed to be smiling."" It's not all as smarmy as that, but neither is the storytelling sufficiently inspired to warrant devoting 46 pages to Mule's preoccupation with finding a place. Still, Mary Chalmers drawings, though not her best (the scale is too large for her soft, delicate style), do suggest that there are other things going on in the world.