Done up in a merrie olde-time-Christmas jacket is the story of the Bastables and that most unpalatable of holiday puddings -- O.E. and Alice "went and begged for money for poor children, and then kept it!" So, continues Oswald, "We must see that that pudding goes to poor children. . . real ones, just as poor as they can stick." Easier said than done, as readers of The New Treasure Seekers will remember; but jauntily concluded, as newcomers will discover. A plum, pictured in the spirit of the period, and a sampling of Nesbit's rare goodness.