Arts and Entertainment

It's worth remembering that fairy tales were not originally thought of as children's stories.

Children's Books: When Harry Potter met Pollyanna...

From J R R Tolkien to J K Rowling, listen out for a seasonal treat. Christina Hardyment surveys audiobooks for children

Books: There's life beyond Harry Potter

Brandon Robshaw on books to grab younger readers

Children's Books: A Week in Books

Philip Pullman Children's books must join the Euro zone

Children's Books: Telling tales out of spool

Spoken-word tapes for children need lots of relish, but no ham. Christina Hardyment listens in wasters of alternative Albion? Just the music, says Charles Jennings

Books: Heaven, Hell, and the hut at the bottom of the garden

Alix Sharkey talks to children's fantasy author Philip Pullman, who takes inspiration from Milton and Homer

Obituary: Lt-Cdr Alastair Robertson

ALASTAIR ROBERTSON had two complementary careers, as an early member of the reconstituted Fleet Air Arm, for whom he was a distinguished navigating officer, and at the Board of Northern Lights, the body that manages Scottish lighthouses. In 1939 he was the first victor over the German Air Force, when, on 26 September, his Flight shot down a Dornier flying boat over Heligoland. He said that it was going so slowly that it would have been embarrassing to have missed.

Gear up for Cheltenham

For the second year in a row, The Independent is sponsoring the Cheltenham Literary Festival. This year, Britain's biggest book-fest includes readings and events featuring more than 300 writers and celebrities, from Judi Dench to Alan Clark, and Raymond Blanc to Julian Barnes

Philip Pullman

This writer is a rarity in the recent Waterstone's best children's books list. He's still alive!

Books: Understand a little more

Philip Pullman praises a brave study of the Bulger case and its impact

Arts: And all of a sudden...

Cut-throat with plenty of surprises is Tim Firth's idea of a plotline for a children's television series. Adults won't be disappointed either. By Jasper Rees
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game