Hilary's highly imaginative alibis are so real to her that--unlike her family and her teacher--she quite believes in them. An owl devours her homework on the way to school; she can't sleep because the sheep she's trying to count refuse to jump their fence; her piggy bank won't let her have money for gifts, only relenting when she plans to buy something for herself. Fortunately, adult firmness and Hilary's own conscience always prod her into facing clown these ""troublemakers""; and in the last chapter, Hilary decides on her own to be more grown-up by banishing the shark that's keeping her out of the bathtub, without mentioning it to anyone else. Hilary isn't as disarming or as incisively drawn as Priscilla in the author's Best Enemies (1989), nor arc her adventures as deliciously funny. Still, her negotiations with her troublesome alter egos are genuinely childlike and amusing, making their point with a pleasantly light touch. Illustrations not seen.