Arts and Entertainment The Man with the 10 Stone Testicles

It's rude to gawk, but there's something worthwhile in these stop-and-stare documentaries

Box Clever: Telling tales

A new BBC2 series aims to give an insight into the often blighted lives of six of the greatest children's writers

Arts: Who's been sitting in my concert hall?

Roald Dahl's `Goldilocks' has been turned into a piece of music- theatre. Raymond Monelle fears it may all have gone over the children's heads.

Books: Heroes and villains

Elton was greedy, Andrew sneaky, Beryl plucky and Orlando - gobsmacked. `The Literator' scans a year in books, and hands out bouquets and brickbats for 1997

Christmas presents: Videos - Eternally yours, Ralph Fiennes in your front room

Preserved on your TV screen forever, longer lasting than a pair of socks and certainly sweeter come January,

Books: Children's books

It's probably too late now to get hold of a Teletubby in anything other than book form - astonishingly there are still plenty of copies of Laa-Laa's Ball and The Flying Toast (BBC, pounds 2.50 each) around, as well as the Teletubbies Annual 1998 (BBC, pounds 5.50). Two year-olds are addicted to these fat, furry aliens and their horribly jaundiced baby companion in the same way that they were once addicted to Postman Pat and his black and white cat - for hopelessly passe kids, Collins have produced A Special Delivery From Postman Pat by John Cunliffe incorporating three new adventures in a single package (pounds 9.99). The drawback to giving any of these books is that you will be required to read them out loud at some point; discerning adults (or at least those who wish to remain calm over the Christmas hols) should search out a copy of The Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore instead (a new edition of this classic poem, magically illustrated by Christian Birmingham, is published by Collins, pounds 12.99). Children of all ages are entranced by this tale. Persuade them to read it turn and turn about on Christmas Eve, and they will revel in the growing sense of suspense and the old-fashioned world of firelight, snowy moonlit nights, stockings hung up and the distant sound of sleighbells it conjures up.

Book prizes prove they have the popular touch

Another day, another shortlist. There are around 300 book prizes in the UK and Ireland, so it is a rare dawn that does not tell us a little about the nation's reading habits - or at least about the preferences of publishers, authors and book prize judges.

If a beard was good enough for Jesus, why not New Labour?

Nicholas Schoon

The man who made Matilda

The huge and enduring popularity of Roald Dahl was proved again when he won top place in the BBC's Bookworm poll. A new 'Treasury' shows the full range of his dark, fascinating talents

ART ATTACK

Paying tribute to the 30th anniversary of the "Summer of Love", Bonhams Chelsea is staging its own commemorative love-in with a resplendent sale of `High Art' - vintage rock'n'roll posters by the leading psychedelic artists of London and San Francisco. Throughout the Sixties these posters served as advertisements for rock bands and hippie events, but today they are collected as artwork that captures the spirit of a revered decade.

Philip Pullman

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

Snozzwanglers to teach kids a lesson

The Roald Dahl factory is working on overtime. Six years after the death of the popular writer of dark, subversive children's tales, a new omnibus of his published work - with some tantalising, never-seen- before additions - is to be issued in time for Christmas.

A day in the life of one of the 100,000 children absent from our schools

Joshua Mitchell is 15 today. While his friends go to school, he will spend the day reading comics or a book or watching television - as he does most days.

Media families; 15. The Dahls

Roald Dahl (author) begat Tessa (writer and famous for being famous) who begat Sophie (new flavour of the catwalk)

Story Competition

Win pounds 2,000 and have your work published in our competition to write a story for 6- to 9-year-olds. Don't delay - the closing date is this Saturday

Top 10 Grossers; Critics Choice

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