A gifted British author-illustrator continues the saga of a cheerful toddler and his toy monkey, first met in four titles in 1988. When they go shopping, Tom keeps asking for things for Pippo to eat (a bit of cheese, a plum), but then eats it all himself while poor Pippo's face alternately registers hope and resignation. In the garden, Tom's care for Pippo parallels his mother's for him. When--on the night of a full moon--Dad tells Tom about rockets, he imagines going to the moon with Dad and Pippo (this will make a fine prequel to Barton's I Want to Be an Astronaut). And on a day when Daddy goes to work, Tom is also so busy that he forgets where Pippo is; fortunately, he finds him again, because "when it's time to go to sleep, I need to be with Pippo." Tom is lucky to live in the nurturing family Oxenbury depicts with such warmth; his creative play with his beloved friend reflects his own security and capacity for healthy growth. The illustrations here are masterpieces of simplicity: a few soft lines convey nuances of character and feelings, composition combines lively action with stable designs reinforcing the sense of Tom's security, and there is a good variety of details, well chosen to interest the toddler audience. Eight of these charming little books is not too many!