Grandma lives in a little pink house on ""the worst street in town""--at least, the city has grown around it. She's given up on her false teeth; she doesn't bother to cook anymore; and she warns her visiting grandson not to venture into the basement: ""There's a bear down there."" He likes staying with Grandma, but the bear is worrisome until he checks it out and discovers that the basement really is spooky, and that there is a huge bear--made of cardboard. Briskly told, this appealingly offbeat story is unsentimentally illustrated with carefully composed, subtly colored illustrations of the old-fashioned interior, the hobbledehoy of a boy, and the nice but unprepossessing old woman. Unusual, with more than one nugget of truth to ponder.