The stronger the material Gammell has to take off from--or take off on--the more successful he is: Once Upon MacDonald's Farm was better than The Story of Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar, and both were better than the one book totally of Gammell's devising, Wake Up, Bear. . . It's Christmas. Here, the material is a loose, drawn-out gag, delivered in Old Scudder's mountain-man dialect--"How-do, childrun. Once Old Scudder stayed out in the wilderness so long, I got a mite confused"--but without the tall-tale extravagance or sly, laconic humor of a Glen Rounds. In the wind-up, Old Scudder has made a map--but doesn't know where he's at. The lackadaisical full-color watercolors of Western landscapes--naturalistic as against the vapors of Where the Buffaloes Begin--might, however, be pleasing enough, along with the crusty figure of Old Scudder, to keep the pages turning.