Old Mr. Griggs--who works for the U.S. Post Office--lives, breathes, and adores his work: he still wonders what became of a Christmas fruitcake, missing for 15 years; he is so fascinated with the minutiae of postal rates that he sometimes gets up in the middle of the night to look them up. Holes always remind him of mailboxes, and chipmunks of a 1978 commemorative stamp. After a day out sick, he returns to the post office like a swain to his lost love. This is not just a valentine to the Protestant Ethic; it's also a prescription for a truly happy existence--an example of a character who takes satisfaction in doing rather than in having. Mr. Griggs should intrigue children with his ingenuous single-mindedness, a deliciously witty alternative to "the good life." In a departure from the elegant style used for Prince Boghole (1987), Downing's illustrations here are pastel drawings on textured paper, their lively informality extending the story's humor. Good for group-sharing; and don't forget to give this to teachers of primary classes studying community helpers.