A departure from the Cocolo series to a rather fey story of a tender -- eerily tender -- relationship between two children at a sunny Italian seashore resort. Eleven-year-old Amadeo and nine-year-old Freckles have a lovely secret guessing game invented during castle building, but the warm, intimate understanding between the two children is disrupted when Freckles is impelled to day dream and to don best clothes to impress a handsome Park musician. Amadeo languishes until Freckles is disillusioned, and the two return to the affectionate, secure world of childhood friendship. Amadeo's raging anguish about losing Freckles seems rather advanced for sex-insulated eleven, and although Freckle's crush is delicately handled, this story is permeated by a tired adult nostalgia for the super-imposed chivalry of innocent, pre-adolescent affection. As always, the author's illustrations in black and white are exquisite. Too precious for general.