When Will Fanshaw protested the clock and calendar routine imposed by his Grandfather, the old man assured him, "Change is a very bad thing." He said "As a rule" and had one for everything. None of these had ever been broken until Tom Kitten arrived. It was stormy, the door had been looked for the night on schedule, but after much soul searching, the Grandfather let him in. Tom, of course, had his own set of rules. The foremost seemed to be to get out nights to the woods that bordered their cottage. This was absolutely forbidden territory because the Grandfather had a rule about not going near them. One night, Tom slipped out when the locked door was reluctantly opened to a policeman. Will and his Grandfather went to search for him. They were lost in the never-before-investigated woods. The fierce animals that the Grandfather had suspected there, turned out to be small animals quietly going about their own routines. With catly assurance, Tom Kitten found them and led the way home. There, a re-examination of the rules by a newly thoughtful Grandfather led to a separation of the inconsequential from the sensible and necessary. The watercolor illustrations catch the air of a starkly ordered existence as well as the gloom of the night in the woods. Easy to tell or read aloud or to read alone, the story has comfort for the rule-bound as well as some reminders for chronic rule breakers.