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Frogs And Toads
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Tuesday 20 July 2010
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.
Friday 09 July 2010
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".
Saturday 26 June 2010
Friday 25 June 2010
"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.
Friday 25 June 2010
Sunday 23 May 2010
Saturday 22 May 2010
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.
Friday 21 May 2010
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.
Thursday 20 May 2010
Saturday 15 May 2010
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.
Monday 10 May 2010
When Sky's the limit
Wednesday 05 May 2010
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.
Wednesday 05 May 2010
Water voles have developed a penchant for one of the most rarefied delicacies of French cuisine – frogs' legs – conservationists have discovered.
Friday 16 April 2010
Thursday 15 April 2010
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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