Matching dream trips from France, related with a dreamlike matter-of-fact acceptance. In the first, little Olympia, left alone on the beach, is hailed by a mermaid (""Come and see me. . . . Put on your yellow rubber duck""). . . who takes her off to an island and then under water where a family of fish watch TV in easy chairs. Back on the beach Olympia has a beautiful big shell as a souvenir of the trip and her yellow rubber duck can be seen ""rest[ing] quietly"" on the little island. In the companion trip, Olympia's brother Alex and his toy polar bear Ba fly off in their bed to the North Pole. . . where Ba's Uncle Bo and Aunt Bi give them ""hot tea and crispy toast with honey,"" a group of penguins offer them coffee (""No, thank-you, we never drink coffee""), and they are pulled on a sled by Victor, ""the only dog at the North Pole who smokes a pipe."" The books are recognizably European in their simple, straight-faced surreality--more fanciful than compelling, but diverting enough in their affable incongruities.