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This issue’s cover is from a stunning new picture book, Mary’s Secret by David McKee (Andersen Press, 0 86264 909 9, £9.99). An ecological fable about doing without cars, McKee’s story with its bright pictures full of well observed detail is set within Mary’s cheerful family and at her school. His bold, painterly illustrations use the page so confidently and dextrously that their quirky, decorative perspectives seem entirely natural. Thanks to Andersen Press for their help in producing this September cover.
That the cover design includes the words 'Award-winning series' suggests that the award was won without the help of this title. I like to think that if the jury were in any doubt then the arrival of this one would have clinched it - for it is an excellent look at neurophysiology and a more convincing contribution to understanding than some of its series predecessors. You need a cool head to explain this sort of stuff - it is a tough test for any writer and Arnold does well, with his 'Horrible' approach needing rather less getting-past than in other volumes. Entertaining, informative and cheap - form a disorderly queue please.