More rhymed foolery from Small (George Washington's Cows, 1994, etc.), with an ending that may seem cold-hearted to some, and subtexts that don't bear too much scrutiny. When Hoover, a balding, middle-aged bachelor, sees Elektra the vacuum cleaner sweeping up mountains of dust, he falls rapturously in love. They are soon married (""While this seems like the strangest alliance,/I now pronounce you Man and Appliance""), but their honeymoon at the posh Hotel Dunes is interrupted when Elektra runs off with a newlywed power mower from across the hall. Hoover and the mower's spouse have their marriages annulled and live happily ever after; the eloping machines meet a harsher fate at the city dump. The moral: ""It's good to have humans aboard/When you run out of gas, or run out of cord."" In the cleanly drawn watercolors Elektra, a small canister model, peeps coyly up from the floor as genteel humans react with comically exaggerated gestures and expressions. As usual, Small displays both sharp wit and a lively imagination, but this is flat next to his other books, which are mostly about the value of being different rather than its perils.