Related as a minor historical event in the history of the country of Croon, The Nip and Tuck War took place when Nip, a young goatherd of mysterious background and odd habits (he communicates with animals and shows a distinct preference for them) undertakes to rescue Princess Cristella and her father King Boldo from the clutches of power-mad Baron Gnarl of Castle Lumbago, his wife Rubiola and son Cramp. What happens when Nip and his friend Tuck, a wily old goat, use animal, insect and bird brigades to rouse the lethargic population and rout the villains-- shouldn't happen to a human being. This is not a simple story. Miss Mian has created a carefully-drawn allegory and is not backward about making comparisons- ""It was, of course, a very small war, even for wars before nowadays when the world had become so small that there are no small wars, because any war can bring us in, buzzing like all the Insects together."" But most of the time she allows the reader to draw his own comparisons through her excellent characterizations. Lots of bite, young readers should buzz with delight.