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Conservative halve Labour’s poll lead

Disease wiping out amphibians before they can be identified

The frog-killing disease which is sweeping parts of the world is now wiping out amphibian species before they have even been described, new research has shown.

The Wind In The Willows, By Kenneth Grahame

Perfect summer reading, especially if you're near the Thames's "glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl", this remains a potent classic of children's literature. Except that it isn't. In his introduction, Peter Hunt stresses that the 1908 masterpiece by the Secretary to the Bank of England is "neither an animal story, nor for children".

DVD: The Princess and the Frog (U)

"You can do anything you set your heart to," Tiana's papa tells her when she's a little girl. So, years later, Tiana sets about fulfilling her late father's dream of running a restaurant in New Orleans.

Games review: Legend of Kay

If the nightingales would just pipe down...

...you might hear the bittern's boom. Adrian Phillips is spoilt for birdlife to watch on Hungary's Lake Tisza

Signs of good taste: How restaurants, cafes, markets and food shops grab our attention

Long before I even started thinking of writing about food, I was taking pictures around the world of the kaleidoscope of graphic signs and images that restaurants and markets use to make themselves stand out.

A Gate at the Stairs, By Lorrie Moore

The landlocked Midwest is an uncompromising place to live. In this novel by Lorrie Moore, there's a sense that she has wrung every last drop of mirth and meaning from dispiriting surroundings. The author of three celebrated short-story collections and two previous novels, including the memorably titled Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?, Moore returns after an 11-year intermission with a masterly work that examines how Americans have educated themselves to endure the unendurable. The novel's narrator, 20-year old Tassie Keltjin, has just enrolled at Troy university, "the Athens of the Midwest". The daughter of a Lutheran farmer and a Jewish mother, she's hungry for enlightenment. Engaged by her classes (Intro to Sufism and a module in war-movie soundtracks) and happily scandalised by her roommate's warped jokes, Tassie has never eaten Chinese takeaway or seen a man wear a tie with jeans. Her life gets yet more piquant when she accepts a child-minding job with a glamorous local couple. Sarah and Edward are only part-way through the adoption process – her charge is yet to exist - and Tassie comes to understand she's a witness to a stage-managed act whose true complexity will only revealed as the novel progresses.

Photographer who goes out on a limb to capture shots of world's rarest species

Belgian lives in tree tops for weeks at a time to get close to his subjects

My Secret Life: Macy Gray, singer, 42

My parents were ... interesting, big-hearted individuals. My mum was a maths teacher; my father worked at a steel factory, a barber shop and was also a landlord.

Highlight on the Day: 10/05/2010

When Sky's the limit

Leading article: Vile charge

It's not not that Britain's friendly little water vole has been proved not to be a vegetarian after all that is so shocking, but that it should have a French taste for frogs legs. Voles, as we all know from ratty in Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, are furry, eccentric, maddening but definitely not carnivorous creatures. It's bad enough that the round-nosed swimmers are being gradually wiped out by imported American minks. But to have this charge laid against the door of their burrows must be the last straw.

How vegetarian voles got a taste for frogs' legs

Water voles have developed a penchant for one of the most rarefied delicacies of French cuisine – frogs' legs – conservationists have discovered.

'Haiku Herman' takes break from Europe to launch book of poetry

EU President reveals a love of birdsong and trees in his first volume of work

Tadpoles scream when threatened by cannibals

Some might think it's up there with the flying pig and the killer rabbit, in the list of improbable animals – the screaming tadpole. But it's real.

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