In a mellow variation on the theme of children braving a haunted house, a French village girl with her dog, doll and toy bear explore an abandoned castle and have a party with the creatures they find there. Ichikawa's serene paintings have always paid tribute to the French illustrator Boutet de Monvel and his pupil, Le Mair, and never more appropriately than in this fond examination of the old chateau. The simple story serves as excuse for a series of beautifully composed interior and exterior views within ovals whose boundaries are occasionally pierced by the illustration, a delicate reminder of the line between the real and the imagined. Architectural elements--cross vaults, winding stairs, and wrought-iron gates--are elegantly employed as foils for the small doings of Nora and her friends. Children should be entranced by the marvelous evocation of a castle worthy of the rarest imagination.