The Battle of Bubble and Squeak
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Philippa Pearce shows that it is possible to mix quality writing with popular appeal. This perceptive, affectionate look at family life owes much of its strength to the simplicity of its central idea - Sid, Peggy and Amy (well, there had to be something wrong with it) want gerbils but their Mum dislikes animals; their stepfather is pulled both ways. The episodes are nicely varied and the subtle treatment, the depth of observation, never hinders the flow of the story. An attractively slim, effectively illustrated book that, like What the Neighbours Did, will become an indispensable classic.