The Vegetable Thieves
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The illustration on the cover of this issue of Books for Keeps shows the arrival of King Sahure's funeral procession at the pyramid at Abusir around 2473 BC. Reconstructed from archaeological evidence, this illustration by David Salariya and Shirley Willis is taken from Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David, published by Kingfisher in the History as Evidence series (0 86272 091 5, £3.95). We are grateful to Kingfisher for help in using this illustration. (See Information Please, pages 20-21)
Des and Letty, two hard-working rodents, are so busy with their market garden that they have no time for anything or anyone else, but the disappearance of some of their produce leads them to take on even more responsibility -- the culprits, a family of five mouse orphans. However, this increased responsibility does have its advantages -- more help in the garden. There is plenty to look at and admire in Inga Moore's detailed illustrations but I find the portrayal of the mice themselves somewhat sinister which leaves me with what is perhaps an unjust antipathy towards the book. However, older infants and young juniors will probably not share this aversion and thus should enjoy the book to the full.