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What an odd book: a confessional journal for children. It's hard to imagine anyone but Dahl being able to hold anyone's youthful interest for long enough, but this diary is a remarkable document. It begins by exploring the contents of the author's tabletop - a baby seal carved out of whalebone, a steel hip, a piece of ambergris - and ends with Dahl wishing his readership 'a lovely Christmas and a super holiday'. In between is surprisingly routine treasury of garden lore: moles are nice because they eat 'all the horrid centipedes'; cuckoos are nasty because they are lazy. You keep waiting for a twist - the cuckoo hatches out an alligator, perhaps - but the benign tone rarely slackens. It's like a nature diary by Andy Warhol - what in other hands might be slight seems, in Dahl's hands, freakish and astonishing.