Neesie's not made up, Mama. She's real!"" Taking her cue from Janell, who tells her story for all the world as if Neesie really were there--making a face at Mama who is cornrowing Janell's hair, messing up Janell's new school shoes, even plunking herself on the sofa right where visiting old Aunt Bea intends to sit--Barnett paints the mischief-making playmate into the picture without any of the line or color devices often used to distinguish the real from the imagined. Though Janell's parents don't recognize Neesie's existence, Aunt Bea proves more than a match for her, thrashing the sofa with her cane when Janell shouts ""Aunt Bea! Don't sit on Neesie!"" And next day, when Janell returns from her first day at school, she finds that Neesie has disappeared. It's not easy to perk up such an everyday subject as an imaginary friendship, but Greenfield and Barnett make it as satisfying and bouncy as Janell's naughty alter ego.