Algernon's great-great-great uncles lie stone-faced in front of the New York Public Library at 42nd Street, where, to Algernon's disgust, pigeons crowd onto their backs and preen themselves on the lions' noses. Algernon, a black and white cat with a shoopish grin, is somewhat of a permanent fixture himself, being night watchman in the stacks. He guards the thousands of volumes against the ""attacking"" mice and rats who savor the glue on bindings and relish the cardboard covers. The spunky cat loathes the pigeons-- on the library ""grass, alas""-- until an incident occurs which causes Algernon to befriend them. This clever, rambunctious story is admirably interpreted by the artist in illustrations which give Algernon a magnetic appeal. And the interior and exterior pictures of the library make for instant recognition. The sophisticated readers of the tale will like this comical cat as much as young listeners who will readily befriend him.