Aiming for the simple wisdom of a folk tale, Dickerson begins with ""the good little wife"" and ""the good little husband"" moving into their little house in the country. They are ""very happy,"" but as the good wife goes about her chores--washing dishes, baking a pie, and putting away the laundry--her husband gently faults her methods, each time showing her the ""right way"" (his mother's way) to do things. And each time, ""'Purr, purr,' said the little white cat to herself. 'The little wife does not know that there is just one way to [do it].' "" A baby's arrival saves the good little wife, for her husband--being an only child--doesn't know how his mother handled that situation. . . and finally, ""'Purr, purr,' said the little white cat to herself. 'The good little husband has found out that there is more than one way to do things.' "" But Dickerson's way is pseudo-traditional. Her would-be archetypes are hardly figures with which to identify, even though children know well the frustration of having their procedures corrected. Meanwhile Himler's fond, framed drawings (in which the broad, bearded ""little husband"" could be his wife's father) tend to circumscribe, rather than open possibilities.