It seems obvious from this entrancing successor to Henry Huggins that the author is as well acquainted with the whisperings, weeps and whoops of third grade distaff side as she is with the ways of young men like Henry. Third grader, Ellen Tebbits, has her happiest dreams realized when she acquires a Best Friend, in the person of Austine Allen, who not only lives near enough to share after schools and Saturdays, but also is undoubtedly the only girl in the school besides Ellen who is forced to wear winter underwear. Together the friends weather crises — Ellen's campaign to win the honor of clapping erasers at school; a misadventure with a horse; and the shattering witticisms of the class's "uncooperative boy", Otis. Therefore when a quarrel divides the friends, the tragedy is overwhelming — not even Ellen's appointment as Substitute Rat in the Pied Piper of Hamelin, can lift the gloom. An eraser clapping session, however, patches the quarrel.