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

TOP 10 GROSSERS / CRITICS CHOICE

TOP 10 GROSSERS

Win pounds 2,000 and have your work published in our competition to write a story for 6- to 9-year-olds

Diane Samuels, a playwright, wrote the award-winning `Kindertransport', about the evacuation of Jewish children from Eastern Europe before the Second World War. She has two children, BJ, eight, and Jake, six. BJ is currently hooked on Robert Swindells, the controversial Carnegie medal- winning author of gritty teenage fiction.

TOP 10 GROSSERS; CRITIC'S CHOICE

1. Ransom

On the books

Sometimes it pays to cook by the book

Korky Paul, 45, prizewinning illustrator of `The Rascally Cake', `The Fish Who could Wish' and `Winnie the Witch', and his daughter Zoe, 10, tell Louise Levene about the stories they enjoy

Korky Paul, 45, prizewinning illustrator of `The Rascally Cake', `The Fish Who could Wish' and `Winnie the Witch', and his daughter Zoe, 10, tell Louise Levene about the stories they enjoy

No Sartre, no Lessing, no Mailer: Frodo the hobbit beats them all

JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is the greatest book written this century, according to a poll of more than 25,000 people conducted by the book chain Waterstone's and Channel 4's Book Choice.

Step into a pop-up book

Fiona MacAulay visits the Roald Dahl Children's Gallery

Right-on books a turn-off for young

Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton remain the most popular authors among British children, who apparently do not care whether characters in the books they read are much like themselves.

Danny's little girl

Roald Dahl's Matilda Danny DeVito (PG) The Umbrellas of Cherbourg Jacques Demy (PG) Through the Olive Trees Abbas Kiarostami (U)

Macabre, dry, mad about reading. Like Roald Dahl really, says the late author's wife.

Victoria Mckee meets Danny DeVito

CLASSICAL MUSIC Pelecis's Jack and the Beanstalk Royal Albert Hall, London

The hall buzzes with shouts, jeers, the odd chant. In the upper tiers, football terrace-style clapping breaks out, others pick it up, there's even a brief Mexican wave. This isn't the usual classical concert atmosphere, but Christmas looms and last Friday's Royal Albert Hall performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra included the premiere of the Latvian composer Georgs Pelecis's Jack and the Beanstalk, with text adapted by Donald Sturrick from Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes. The kids may be here for Danny DeVito's Giant, not to assess Latvian music in the post-Soviet era, but the willingness to party is infectious.

And not an Aladdin among them...

Feeling pantophobic? From The Witches to Frankenstein, we review the best alternative Christmas shows in London

The Best Christmas Shows

WIZARDS OF OZ

Are we nearly there? Children's films

The London Film Festival previews Roald Dahl's Matilda today. The film is just the latest in a new wave of intelligent, children's movies on general release. They have good storylines and high production values, that leave Lassie in the shade. Watch out for the release next month of Hollywood's Christmas spectacular - 101 Dalmations, with Glenn Close as a gorgeously evil Cruella de Vil.

A SIDEWAYS EYE ON NEXT WEEK

Roald Dahl's Matilda gets an early UK showing as part of the London Film Festival next Saturday. This is the cautionary tale, not fully intended by the late Mr Dahl, of how ego can affect a short but powerful star like Danny De Vito and allow him to play both the wicked father and the voice of the cool objective narrator. As the voice doesn't change, this confusion is mighty confusing all round.
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