Four small episodes that--in Goffstein's tenuous, tentative way--do for beingneighbors what Lobel's Frog and Toad stories do for being friends. In the first, "a hot, crispy pie" unaccustomedly baked for "my new neighbor" is so much exacting work that, once it's delivered, the narrator falls asleep; the second--involving snow-shoveling--is another shy outreach that, dishearteningly, doesn't quite connect. But in the third, "my new neighbor" comes over herself with lilacs--just after the house has been cleaned in anticipation of inviting her (not that she's ready to admit it--not yet). And the last finds the two impulsively letting down their guards. It takes a certain attentiveness to catch the delicate modulations here--but there are also some wonderful passages of pure, everyday business ("I changed my bedsheets, lemon-oiled the wood furniture, and hit the cushions against my knees") that children will relish for their own sakes. With, of course, Goffstein's precise and eloquent line drawings as accompaniments.