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Paper Monitor

11:23 UK time, Friday, 27 June 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

If it's page three, then surely there is space for a tale of the unexpected from the animal kingdom. And as ever, the choice of story speaks volumes about the paper in question.

In the Guardian, it's "Award-winning book illustrator reveals her secret: rat pee". It's an interview with children's book illustrator Emily Gravett about how she creates the nibbled and yellowing pages in Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears.
(Subtext: Inventively illustrated kids' books and muesli-munchers go together like, er, rolled oats and dried cranberries.)

The answer is that she leaves cartridge paper in the cage of her daughter's pet rats, then scans the sheets after a few days. "Usually, the pee would have dried. Once or twice, it hadn't, leaving Gravett with the 'disgusting' task of wiping her scanner clean of rat urine."

Just try explaining that one to tech support...

A very different treatment of the page three animal story in the Daily Mail: "Nice one, squirrel! How a daredevil garden raider managed to take the biscuit".

Can you tell what it's about yet? Yes, it's a photomontage of a grey (natch) squirrel named Cyril (ditto) who carried out an audacious raid on the crackers in a birdfeeder.
(Subtext: Garden wildlife and Middle Englanders go together like squirrel spotters and an air rifle.)

Meanwhile, it is with some trepidation that Paper Monitor turns to page 67 in the Independent - will the promised report on Maria Sharapova's shock exit actually make the paper after Wednesday's debacle?

Yes.

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