In my late seventies I have finally found for myself – that is without the aid of my biographical subjects – a children’s writer whose satire on adult behaviour is subtly developed and perfectly suited to readers of all ages. This is Mary Norton, whose quintet of novels about the Borrowers was written for the most part during the 1950s. These tiny people, who mimic what they sometimes call ‘Human Beans’, like to think of us giants as having been put on earth to manufacture useful small objects for them. There are, for example, safetypins (which become coat-hangers), cotton reels (on which to sit), stamps (which are placed as wonderful portraits and landscapes on their walls), toothbrushes (parts of which make excellent hairbrushes) and thimbles (from which they drink tea). All of these items and many more are borrowed or, as the giants would call it, ‘stolen’.