Running away from an unhappy home, raccoon Stanley innocently takes up with pickpocket Fenster Fox and ends up in jail for Fenster's crime. There Stanley becomes friends with his cellmate Chatto rat, helping Chatto escape but staying behind himself, confident that justice will prevail. When it does, Stanley takes a job with a kindly (human) watchmaker, staying on with him until loneliness for fresh air, trees, and sunshine sends him on his way to answer an ad for a helper in Henry Bear's Park. McPhail is good at kindling interest in each of Stanley's encounters, but in the end the book as a whole, as well as the separate episodes, seems to trail off, without middle or end. The jacket flap directs readers to Henry Bear's Park (1976) to find out what happens next to Stanley, and this kind of interconnection is attractive to children--but only if each volume satisfies in itself. As it is, neither Henry Bear's Park nor Stanley's role in it rates a book-length foot-note.