A group of paintings by Dutch artist Anton Pieck (b. 1895), depicting the Christmas season in a 19th-century Dutch city, has been provided with descriptive captions--in hopes of achieving the semblance of ""a story. . . set in Holland in the nineteenth century."" But the devices that make you think a story is about to get underway (assigning names to the children in the various pictures; suggesting some connection between them--per ""Eleanor was so intent on feeding the geese she didn't even notice her friend Jemima looking out the window""), far from being bright thoughts, merely increase the disappointment when no thread of development materializes; none of these children ever reappears--it's simply on to the next group scene. Indeed, the captions forego the opportunity to be informative and either spell out what viewers might otherwise enjoy discovering (""Quite a few people just couldn't keep their balance and fell down with a resounding thump on the ice"") or something that the author has clearly dreamed up (""Hot chocolate was especially welcome as the weather was bitterly cold""). A child who was spared a reading of the humdrum text might, however, find some pleasure in noting the details of Dutch urban life--though the sharp-eyed child might also notice (per the cover painting of girls in summer frocks) that some have nothing to do with the holiday season at all.