A Critical Guide: For children

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The Independent Culture
First, cast an eye over our Christmas Top 10 (on page 32). Then consider a concert. There are lots coming up: both Birmingham Symphony Hall (021-212 3333, 15 Dec) and the Barbican (071-638 8891, 27 Dec) have 10th-anniversary performances of Howard Blake's music of The Snowman, narrated by Jean Boht and Johnny Morris respectively. Symphony Hall also has a concert at 2.30pm on 19 Dec with Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of the Animals (children's tickets only pounds 2 for this), and

a 'teddy bear concert' on 29 Dec. At the National Theatre (071-928 2252, 17 Dec at 5.30pm and 18 Dec at 12.30pm) members of the Wind in the Willows company leave their burrows to put on a programme of carols and seasonal poems; and on

30 Dec at 3pm in the Cottesloe (071-928 2252) there is a chance to see, hear,

even to try out, the NT's Javanese gamelan - a beautiful collection of bronze gongs and chimes.