The familiar scenario of rapprochement with an elderly curmudgeon gets a new spin: The Summers fill their garden with flowers; children Rose, Faith, and Baby Blossom join their parents each day to enjoy the sunrise from the roof. Meanwhile, under the gray clouds next door, Mr. Wintergarten's creepy home lurks behind barbed wire. Despite her friends' scary stories, Rose braves the forbidding mansion to request a lost ball, taking along flowers and cookies. Softened in spite of himself, the old man begins to engage in a bit of ballplaying over the fence. The exaggerations, especially as extended in Graham's illustrations, move the story into myth: Rose/Persephone, confronting the dour Wintergarten against a bleak sweep of gray, recalls John Burningham's splendid visualizations of his mythic stories; the deft pen and watercolor sketches here are also notable for their gentle, winsome humor. Another imaginative contribution from this fine Australian artist.