The clients of the Skeldale House vet. practice vary from dour farmers who expect miracles for nothing, those grateful for any little service and for James Herriot, the real five star owners and patients like Mrs. Pumphrey and Tricki Woo. Here are animal characters from cart horses to kittens; a dog whose staple diet is fish and chips, a cat who presides over his master’s business and cows and ewes with complicated calvings and lambings. Siegfried and James are compelled to take on assistants, one of whom – Calum Buchanan – has a larger than life personality with a magical touch, and a menagerie of his own that includes badgers, dogs, owls and foxcubs who take up residence in the kitchen. James’ wife Helen is there, steering him through the often comic crises with serene practicality, as well as his children Jimmy and Rosie, both determined to follow in their father’s footsteps. A book for anyone who loves animals and laughter. Illustrated by Victor Ambrus.