Alfie is out and about with his little sister, Annie Rose. In one of their adventures, Alfie adopts a pet stone, meets a lost sheep and spends his first night in a tent. The atmosphere of family life is closely conjured up by the voice of Thora Hird.
Four longish stories and as many pleasant poems about happy, wholesome experiences for Alfie and his little sister: setting up shop on a cardboard box; camping out with Dad in a real tent near Grandma's (a huge pig provides an amusing midnight disturbance, just scary enough); adopting a rock ("Bonting") that Alfie invests with so much personality that losing "him" at the beach is truly sad (he's found, in the end). As always, Hughes's understanding of childhood's concerns is deep, mellow, and beautifully extended in her exquisite art. Deplorably, the publisher here reverts to "Mom" and other needless Americanizations, undermining the splendidly evoked British setting. (Kirkus Reviews)