Ernest Shepard is the distinguished illustrator of A.A. Milne and Kenneth Grahame. This is his first venture into writing for children and in both the dialogue and the anthropomorphizations, the Grahame influence is complete. However, the combination of Ben, a boy, and Mr. and Mrs. Brock, two domestic and articulate badgers, is not a happy one. The story is a series of accidents. Ben meets Brock. The underground castle of Brock is blown up. New arrangements for the Brocks are made after the marauding smuggler crabs are taken in custody by a human policeman. Very British in dialect and designations, this is like a lesser draught from the wake of Wind in the Willows with illustrations in Shepard's familiar style.