Our youngsters dream of the wandering life and make heroes of the cowboy and the sailor because of it. Perhaps it's just as reasonable that a nomad child can dream of stopping. Nevertheless, when faced with the story of Abu, whose fantasies were of a permanent home (just a tent by the side of an oasis) what will the young American's reaction be? That some kids don't know when they're well off? Considering the status of the child in nomad society, it seems a bit rich that Abu's parents fall in with his desires so readily. Abu, a very little boy, dug a well and, by the beard of the Prophet, struck water. The family settled down right there, but they raise a lot of doubts. Blair Lent, whose distinctive illustrations for The Wave helped that book to runner-up status for this year's Caldecott medal, presents a decorative desert in four colors, but does not do so well when it comes to picturing Abu, who, on at least two pages looks like an Arabian midget.