Mrs. Russ is a comfort even if her book is something of a luxury. Whether savoring her association with the Scribner colophon (as juvenile book buyer for eight years), staggered by the size of the first royalty check for her first book (three dollars and forty-five cents after deductions for advance and complimentary copies) or devising ways not to get on with her second, she brooks no nonsense, either from herself or about her passion, children's books. Balderdash is her word for many of the standard dicta: that city children can't appreciate poems about nature; that a book is not worth reading unless it is a classic or, currently, meaningful; that a list is a reliable prescription (but, succumbing, she offers one for children up to ten). Some of the pieces about books and authors (Alcott, Nesbit) and coping with both (""Author, Stay Away From My Door"") have appeared previously in PW and elsewhere; most of the personal notes are new and particularly engaging. Particularly for anyone close to the scene.