A very small, very right, very good story of a ten-year-old Swedish boy named Joachim coping with loneliness and confusion. He drifts about his village investigating all that piques his mechanical curiosity but each excursion ends with a licking. Only Olle understands him, yet that one friend is away this summer. All Mamma and Papa say is that Joachim forgets to care about people in his obsession with things-and all Joachim can figure out is that Mamma and Papa don't care about him. The turning point occurs when father rises to son's defense after Joachim is whipped by watchmaker Gubben Janson, whose house he so wants to explore. Then they talk out their mutual misunderstanding and Joachim learns to channel his curiosity more sensitively--with a more than just reward at the end. The doleful illustrations and ugly mauve and olive jacket are a disservice to the book, for Mrs. Norris really knows young people. . . as she's demonstrated before and as they'll discover themselves in finding A Time for Watching.