· Snowball’s Chance by John Reed (?) Though in Animal Farm, Napoleon, the pig, is generally thought to be Stalin and Snowball to be Trotsky, when I read it with my grandson, I saw the story more generically as the corrupting effect of power. In this sequel/send-up, the exiled Snowball returns and turns out to be no saint, himself warped by the clout he exercises in the community he renames Animal Fair. Capitalism proves to be no panacea, and it doesn’t take long for us to understand just what culture is in for satiric attack. No element of society comes out smelling like a rose in this slothful (no offence to sloths) self-indulgent social order – except possibly Benjamin, the old donkey. One message: neglect beavers at your peril. The entertaining surface of this book belies its serious portent.