Like Why the Jackal Won't Speak to the Hedgehog (KR, 1969) Larbi and Leila is a Tunisian animal story in native costume, but there is less wit and wonder in this simple morality tale. While Larbi, a mouse in djellabah and fez, goes off for some sweetened grain, his vain wife Leila starts to sink in the town water trough, and though a sheep, a rooster, and a frog all offer to rescue her, she drowns waiting for Larbi as she fears the strangers will feel too rough, tear her fine silk veils, or damage her bracelets. ""'Ah!' cried Larbi. 'How foolish Leila was to value her possessions more than her life.'"" To us that dosing reduces the obvious lesson to platitude, but those sparkling North African scenes and elaborately costumed animals keep Larbi and Leila afloat.