A cautionary tale about James, an introspective, observant child who manages to pursue his own course in spite of his exuberant parents. From babyhood, James would rather watch a spider spinning a web than play hide-and-seek, rather consider his reflection in a puddle than jump in it. His intrusive parents are forever playing what they think should be his games--e.g., throwing snowballs, which frightens the bird James is watching, and spoils the pristine white--but a cooperative nursery school where ""they leave you alone"" finally provides a solution: Mother finds some other uproarious parents to play with, and James is delighted to have contemplative companions his own age. There's a clever double message in this appealing text: comfortable coexistence of differing temperaments is possible, whether the quiet person is child or parent. Foreman's adept pencil and watercolor illustrations capture both the buoyant and the serene with humor and affection.