The legend that one Febold Feboldson was the first settler on the Great Plains derives, we hear, from a newspaper column of the tall-tale-spawning 1920s; but no matter who dreamed them up, there are a few choice whoppers here--suited, besides, to Dewey's naive drawing. There's ""The Year of the Big Rain,"" when Febold, disgusted with the drought, splashes a frog with water from a bucket; that frog starts the others croaking; some clouds take the din for thunder; and ""it rained so hard that the frogs were washed down to the Gulf of Mexico. It took them nine months to hop back."" In ""The Year of the Striped Weather,"" the sun pops the corn, the rain simultaneously washes the sugar out of the corn stalks, the resulting syrup runs into the cornfield. . . and sweeps the popcorn into balls. All the tales, indeed, are about the weather--but that's exactly what first Nebraskan Febold aims to beat, and does. Some regional flavor and interest, and some laconic fun.