What are we to make of this meeting between a lolling young girl, overcome with love for "everything" and "almost feel(ing) herself changing into a flower," and a wonderful talking bone that she finds in the forest? (It used to belong to a witch but "I'd be happier with someone young and lively like you.") After Pearl puts the bone into her purse, it saves her from some masked robbers and, later, from a more threatening hungry fox; finally she brings the bone home to meet her parents and, thereafter, takes it to bed with her every night. It's hard to avoid symbolic associations, but Steig, like the makers of fairy tales, says less than he knows--and he invests his words and pictures with a lovely, natural innocence that disarms as Red Riding Hood's harsh lesson doesn't. For Steig's sweet young schoolgirl, actually a delectable pig in pink, straying from the path to browse among the flowers is no dire misstep but the occasion for a wonderful encounter. And, with an Easter egg palette (even more fanciful than Sylvester's) that we'd never have thought had the punch, he makes his springtime scenes as fresh and enticing as she clearly found them.