There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

—Charles Dickens

Especially children's books. At the Christmas season hundreds of new volumes beckon, each with an appealing dust jacket, each with the promise of juvenile delight. It is only upon close examination that the fantasy turns out to be a dream of Ebenezer Scrooge: volumes shaped like rabbits, turtles—everything but books; "relevant" accounts of crime and strife; the latest data on the making of babies—but little about the meaning of love. Still, along the shelves a few items always...

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