Vintage folderol. With its fake-leather binding, its marbleized endpapers, its decorative borders and initial-letters, this has the look of a Hallmark antique; and the illustrations, ""adapted"" by Kathleen M. Rebek from Fromentin's 19th-century wood engravings, are also old-fashionedy but somewhat less than authentic. (The typeface is much less than authentic.) This is not an item for historical collections, in other words--though the story is pretty hoary. ""Little Louis is a French boy, the baker's small son,"" it begins. ""He is to bring me my round loaf""-which (skipping over the question, of who ""I"" am) looks exactly like an inner tube of yore. Or, if you will, a giant doughnut. Anyhow Little Louis has a lot of trouble transporting this unwieldy item, and in the course of his journey it gets somewhat battered--not, however, to outward appearances. The punch line, delivered after the lady narrator has finally gotten her bread, reads: ""Perhaps all this may explain why my round loaf sometimes seems not quite so fresh as it might be."" Once upon a time, that may have seemed hilarious.