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

TOP 10 GROSSERS
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick