A disgruntled Jack-in-the-Box, who happens to be a dog, ruminates about possible occupations and their respective appeal. Jack has decided to make his way in the world, and fancies himself as a bartender at ""The Hound and Foxes Tavern,"" or a bank teller in charge of dispersing money, even a composer of symphonies elaborately dressed in a green waistcoat--but each time realizes that he can't cope, either with cigar smoke, counting change or composing and singing in tune. It's a fanciful bit of nonsense created to showcase the richly detailed paintings by its British author, whose minute embellishments and realistically rendered characters certainly catch the eye. The illustrations have provincial charm and luster, yet the story lacks believability and animation of its central character. Jack remains a toy that never really comes to life.