When Ben's mother sends him to look for his little sister, he checks around the garden with several friends, portrayed in the late Le Cain's disarming illustrations as living in snug little homes that Ben imagines for them. Arthur, a toy duck, has a cozy, old-fashioned place in the toolshed; Plain Jane, a doll, is in an elegant, flower-festooned mÃ‰nage under the weeping willow; nicely characterized stuffed animals live in the greenhouse and the garage. Little Emmy is finally discovered toasting sausages with ""Hot Cross Dragon"" in a hollow tree. Everybody contributes food, and they all go home to share ""tea"" with ""Mom"" (let's make up our minds: ""Mum"" would be fine). The affectionately detailed illustrations are charming; cutout windows for peeking into and out of the houses add a lovely touch. Unusually appealing.