Fourteen stories and two ballads from one of the most thoughtful and imaginative writers of our time. Most of these pieces were published separately back in the 70's; readers who enjoyed them then will be delighted to rediscover Old Hark, who forces Death to ""Come Again in the Spring""; Stinky Pete and Snotty-nose Joe the pirates, ordered by spunky Princess Ann to clean up their acts (not to mention their clothes); Dan and Diana, ""Crazy in Love""; Jack and Bertie, who help in the birth of an angel; and many others. Kennedy's tales are not aimed specifically at children, but his uncomplicated moral structures--good and evil are rewarded in kind, courage overcomes mere strength, love is worth any sacrifice--and lyrical language (""The song has words that are ancient and strange, and music like newborn water tumbling all together. . ."") will enchant even unfledged sensibilities. The author introduces each piece with a paragraph or two on its genesis. Sewell's humorous drawings contribute to the handsome format.