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The poem on our front cover is taken from Figgie Hobbin by Charles Causley, with illustrations by Gerald Rose, re-issued by Macmillan (0 333 12078 7, £7.50) in May 1990. Figgie Hobbin was first published in 1970 and has remained in print ever since. We are grateful to Macmillan for help in using this illustration.
Grandad, a semi-retired amateur magician, teaches young Alison to juggle, a dicey enterprise in her houseproud parents' home. She makes such good progress that Grandad is moved to attempt one of his more ambitious triks; the one where you whip the tablecloth from beneath an entire dinner setting. . . "Try one at a time, Alison," said Grandad, "Backwards and forwards. . . This is a short, rich, warm and amusingly illustrated story, whose 'Will he make it?' element makes it ideal for sharing aloud. It's also an ideal book for early independent reading.