Living with his extended family in a four-story brownstone, Aaron likes to climb to the top to watch Great-uncle Max at his work as a tailor--and to listen to his stories. After Max has a stroke, Aaron finds a special way to interest him: taking his cue from one of Max's stories, he uses a pair of curtains to make his mother a dress, getting Max to watch and asking his advice. The dress isn't perfect, but it's made and received with love; it's also the beginning of Aaron's career--as a writer. Not quite so poignant as Ackerman's Song and Dance Man (1988), but another touching, well-shaped intergenerational story. New illustrator Schmidt, like Thomas Allen, uses pastels on brown paper for a luminous, nostalgic effect; his gentle pictures are carefully composed, his characters warmly sympathetic--a fine debut.