In his first juvenile book, the author explores the half real, half imaginary relationship between Cecile, a French girl, and Jean-Pierre, an Abyssinian guinea pig. The wish of both girl and guinea pig is to be able to communicate in words with each other. At the end, an old clock grants the wish by striking a magic hour. The first words exchanged by girl and guinea pig are ""I love you."" Tears of joy cascade down the guinea pig's hairy cheeks and hearts float upward uncontrollably-- right into the print. A sentimental story with a pace too slow to measure. The pictures in pale water colors lack spark, variation and action.