In a tender tale that explores the nature of friendship, Mildred the mouse realizes that perfection is not necessarily a meaningful quality in a friend. Mildred's best friend, Ed, has uncommon habits: some pleasing, such as baking a great fudge-frosted cake, and some embarrassing, such as reciting poetry at inopportune moments. When she meets Pearl, ""Mildred was sure no one could ever think Pearl was unusual in any odd sort of way."" Pearl, however, is only interested in herself, and Mildred comes to cherish Ed's eccentricities and generous nature. Wagner compassionately addresses an issue that is vital to children--the wish to fit in and be accepted. The encouraging message is accompanied by Pedersen's cheerful illustrations, which portray the extraordinary characters of Mildred and Ed. Her amusing depictions of Ed's idiosyncrasies and Mildred's chagrin further leaven the text.