In his first picture book, Hearn reprints the text of a story that appeared in Cricket magazine in 1977 to the accompaniment of illustrations by the Caldecott-winning duo, who have created a series of glowing tableaux framed in art nouveau style. In this cumulative tale, a sorcerer, plagued by rats, concocts a spell to bring his porcelain cat to life. He sends his servant, Nickon, out to obtain basilisk blood from Witch on the Hill, who demands shellfish from Undine of the Brook, who wants some red-spotted mushrooms, which can only be obtained by permission of the Centaur of the Wood. Nickon fulfills all tasks, and the sorcerer completes the spell--but the results are not quite what either of them had in mind. This is told in simple, evocative language that brings each character humorously to life. The Dillons' work may not be their most outstanding, but it flows sinuously from page to page, wittily sneaking in feline characters and an ending not found in the text. A satisfying fairy tale for older picture-book readers.