Bruno, a lonely old man, makes three large, lifelike wooden dolls to keep him company. When he dies, the dolls stay on in his country cottage while it becomes totally overgrown. At last, a family of three moves in; they flu the house with air, sunshine, and flowers, and freshen the dolls with new paint. Waddell suggests that the immobile dolls may have feelings, while Barrett's lovely, evocative paintings tantalize the imagination with the wistful old man, the house during its long, nature-enshrouded sleep, and the springlike return of a new, happy family. Quiet, but gentle, unusual, and quite charming.