In Indonesia the animals at least live in total harmony, a state achieved by their intelligent, judicious ruler Kantjil, a petite mouse deer. He stands only one and a half feet high, but he is held in esteem throughout Indonesia as a folk hero. And American children will cheer for him too when they learn that ""although Kantjil is the cleverest animal in the forest, he cannot help wondering why he is such a small kind of deer."" There is nothing at all austere about Kantjil; he solves the problems of the other animals with offhand but canny aplomb, takes great delight in his own wisdom, which he flaunts immodestly but likably, and frequently prefers a bite to eat to affairs of state. The eleven stories here follow his rise to power and his development as a monarch, and are written in an easy cadence for reading aloud. The introduction and author's notes supply details about the origin of the stories and their native setting.