Children’s books

A child’s-eye view of the world: The Curse of the School Rabbit, by Judith Kerr, reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Is there a more perfect children’s writer for this generation than Judith Kerr? She started with a tiger — The…

LEFT: Shirley Hughes is incapable of drawing a child who isn’t lovable. From Snow in the Garden: A First Book of Christmas. RIGHT: Edmund Dulac’s illustrations are as exquisite as a Persian miniature.From The Arabian Nights, translated by Laurence Housman

Family favourites: children’s books for Christmas reviewed

8 December 2018 9:00 am

There’s no shortage of magical rings in the children’s canon, the sort of things that usefully make you invisible or…

Lucy Mangan has enough comic energy to power the National Grid

17 March 2018 9:00 am

After three hot-water-bottle-warmed evenings of highly satisfying bedtime reading, I can confirm that, even in a world where Francis Spufford’s…

Cover illustration for the magazine Garm 1944, by Tove Jansson

A chance to see the Moomins’ creator for the genius she really was: Tove Janssons reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Tove Jansson, according to her niece’s husband, was a squirt in size and could rarely be persuaded to eat, preferring…

The tyranny of the bedtime story

28 October 2017 9:00 am

All surveys carried out by retail businesses with a view to generating press coverage should be treated with extreme caution,…

Unhappy days

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Scriptwriters love to feast on the lives of children’s authors. The themes tend not to vary: they may have brought…

Francesca Simon’s dark novel The Monstrous Child tells the story of Hel, Queen of the Underworld — like Proserpina, only monstrous

Sinister summer reading for children

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Martin Stewart’s Riverkeep (Penguin, £7.99) has a list of books and writers on the cover: Moby-Dick, The Wizard of Oz,…

The works by Quentin Blake are from the Neonatal Unit at Angers Maternity Hospital, France (2012).

Quentin Blake brings comfort and joy

9 April 2016 9:00 am

His professional achievements aside, Quentin Blake’s life has been rather short on biographical event, so this book is not a…

I became a Conservative thanks to a little winged rabbit called Pookie

2 April 2016 9:00 am

His father’s dental cast, writes Graham Greene near the beginning of The Power and the Glory ‘had been [Trench’s] favourite…

Cecily Parsley makes cowslip wine, illustration from‘Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes’ by Beatrix Potter

The art of Beatrix Potter

12 December 2015 9:00 am

‘I will do something sooner or later,’ wrote Beatrix Potter in the secret diary she kept in a private code.…

I always defended Michael Gove. Then I met him

15 March 2014 9:00 am

A few weeks ago, I was a guest at a huge tea party for children’s authors, publishers and commentators at…

Alexander McCall Smith’s diary: Meeting Babar’s creator

8 February 2014 9:00 am

As any author will tell you, literary festivals differ widely. If you are invited to Willy Dalrymple’s Jaipur Festival, with…

The best children's books for Christmas

30 November 2013 9:00 am

Animal stories for children are always tricky; as J.R.R. Tolkien observed in his essay on fairy stories, you can end…