Nine of the ever-marvelous Just So Stories (omitted, without apology: ""How the First Letter Was Written,"" ""How the Alphabet Was Made,"" and ""The Crab That Played with the Sea""), in a well-designed new format. Perhaps recognizing that these stories are best read aloud, it has become traditional to issue them in large format with showy pictures and a daunting amount of text on each page. So it is here. Illustrations do appear on every double spread: elegantly decorative drawings, reminiscent of Kipling's own for the first edition; and imaginative watercolors in which the figures are quite concrete but the misty backgrounds reflect the magic of the text. Several of the paintings are delightfully effective: the rhinocerous looming over the Parsee, a life-size bit of zebra visage vanishing in the striped shadows, a hippopotamus tickled by bubbles. Unfortunately, Old Man Kangaroo, the only trite portrait in the lot, has been chosen for the jacket. A good choice to supplement complete editions where more copies of the most popular stories are in demand.