Trapped in the U.S.S.R.
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The illustration on our cover is from Ben and the Bear, written and illustrated by Chris Riddell (0 7445 0480 5, £2.95), a title from a new series of Fun-to-Read Picture Books published by Walker Books. We are grateful to Walker Books for help in using this illustration.
Number 8 in a minor epidemic of Race Against Time Adventures. They're a kind of B-Movie of the children's book world -- all stereotyping, masses of far-fetched melodrama, speedy action to mask creaky plots and goodies triumphing by the merest whisker. As an inestimable insight into Russia and her people -- forget it! This is strictly the American -- 'all Russians are grim-faced, deeply suspicious, K. G. B. controlled, unfairly hospitalised' version. My librarian colleague and I predicated most of the Russian Christian names (Igor and Natasha are there!) and foretold most of the plot even before I'd begun to read it. So, it'll not be any great loss if you don't stock it, unless you are desperate for something undemanding for less confident, reluctant readers.