In pungent, no-nonsense prose, Lindbergh puts a new twist on a familiar plot. Ralph is suddenly left with grumpy, reclusive Millicent Meeker, his aunt, who wants to do nothing but stay home and knit. The meals she provides are sketchy, but she does knit Ralph a series of caps--each of which he loses. Still, undaunted, he pursues a healthy outdoor life and makes friends in the neighborhood. In an entertaining (though not very likely) denouement, it turns out that his new friends have all the caps and will be glad to exchange them for things more appropriate to their needs, to be knitted by Millicent--who finally wakes up and exhibits good sense and affection. Hoguet's realistic, colorful illustrations in Conte crayon and pencil add immediacy with low, close points of view that pull the reader right into the pictures; they include many essential, diverting details that do not appear in the text. The long text here makes this appropriate for newly independent readers as well as younger listeners.