What was this picture book involving animals in battle scenes?
November 2, 2009 4:58 AM   Subscribe

What was this children's book I had in the 1980s that contained large pictures of woodland animals engaged in battle scenes, using military equipment such as cannons that fired acorns?

When I was a kid (in the 1980s, in the UK) I had a book, possible larger than A4/letter in size, that contained mainly double-page spread pictures of woodland animals (voles, otters, mice, etc) engaged in battle scenes. The used various technology made from natural materials, e.g. cannons that fired acorns, paratroopers that used sycamore seeds instead of parachutes. There were cut-away parts of the picture so that you could see inside structures, underground, etc. The battles were, I think, all part of one ongoing narrative.

At the bottom of each picture was a caption with a short description of the scene, and a numbered key that described various parts of the scene and the equipment in use.

There may have been text telling a story as well as the pictures, but I'm not sure. My main memories are of the pictures, the two I can remember the most clearly are:

- A battle taking place on/around a river. In the distance there's some kind of battleship approaching. In the foreground, paratroopers are jumping out of something (an airship? from the top of a tree?) and using sycamore seeds instead of parachutes. The picture extends to showing under the water.

- The view is down a grassy hill at night. There is a winding path down the hill, and in the distance you could see a line of lights, implying an army on the march.

The images were drawn in a fairly 'realistic' style, i.e. not cartoony or very anthropomorphized.
posted by EndsOfInvention to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Trouble for Trumpets.

IMO one of the greatest childrens books ever. The style of the illustration is inspired by Peter Bruegel the Elder.
posted by fire&wings at 5:05 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes! That's it. Funny that I remembered the animals but not those weird made-up tiny people things.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:09 AM on November 2, 2009

My god. I remember that. I read it over and over in elementary school.

...now to try to find a copy for less than $70. (stupid out of print...)
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:22 AM on November 2, 2009

$45ish on Amazon. But point taken.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:59 PM on November 2, 2009

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