The Great & the Small --

by A.T. Balsara

"The beauty of the prose, crafted as carefully as the illustrations, is matched by the engaging pace of the plot" - Kim's Review


"Reminiscent of George Orwell’s Animal Farm with its social dynamics and piercing critique of Stalin, The Great & the Small weaves a compelling tale of terror and heroism, oppression and rebellion" - Michele Torrey's Review


"AT Balsara is a gifted author and illustrator. I highly recommend The Great & The Small" - Elizabeth Else's Review


"Rife with gorgeous, sensitive illustrations, as well as thoughtful, intelligent prose" - Always Reading's Review

"I would gladly include this book on my classroom bookshelf or in my personal library." - JD's Review

"[A.T. Balsara's] story-telling is compelling, and her drawings are superb" - Cynthia Reyes's Review

"I would highly recommend this story to both young readers and adults alike" - JGR's Review

"A book that draws you in as it explores two vastly different cultures" - Rusty B's Review

"Not since Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux has a rodent hero been so likable and sympathetic" - Iris Chacon's Review

"Reminiscent of Ken Oppel’s Sunwing" - Kathryn MacDonald's Review

"Ten out of ten" - Richard (Tai) Grove's Review

"A wonderfully imaginative fantasy adventure" - Kelly Lenihan's Review

"A beautiful, tragic story, and the artwork interspersed within is stellar" - Hàlön Chronicles Review

Where is the line between good and evil?


Deep below the market, in the dark tunnels no human knows exist, a war has begun. Led by the charismatic Beloved Chairman, a colony of rats plots to exterminate the ugly two-legs who have tortured them in labs, crushed them with boots, and looked at them with disgust for as long as anyone can remember. 

When the Chairman’s nephew is injured and a young two-leg nurses him back to health, however, doubt about the war creeps in. Now the colony is split—obey the Chairman and infect the two-legs with the ancient sickness passed down from the Old Ones, or do the unthinkable... 



2020 Page Turner Book Awards – shortlisted and won a Spectrum Audiobook prize

2018 Nautilus Book Awards – Silver (given to books that promote peace)

2018 Literary Classics Book Awards – Top Honors, The Eloquent Quill Award

2018 Literary Classics Book Awards – Golds, Upper Middle Grade category and Epic category

2018 Screen craft Cinematic Book Competition -- SemiFinalist

2018 Moonbeam Book Awards – Silver, YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi category

About the Author

Andrea Torrey Balsara has published books for young children up to young adults, sometimes working as a writer, sometimes as an illustrator, and sometimes as both. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, and has taken at least a million art workshops, but she's primarily a self-taught artist. She has an eclectic background, having worked as an American Sign Language Interpreter, as a school bus driver, and a zombie office worker. Back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, she even attended theatre school in London, England. She lives in an old Victorian manor house with her husband and family, and their two dogs, two cats, and two hives of bees (the bees live outside), where she can often be found in her cold attic of a workroom, pretending to be the heroine from Jane Eyre as she writes and draws with frozen fingers.


Visit Andrea at to book presentations, and browse her publishing log, and follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

For full sales and title information, please download our catalogue.

Common Deer Press. Uncommon Books for All Ages.  © 2021 

Toronto, Ontario

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