Melanie McDonagh Melanie McDonagh

Animal magic: children’s books for Christmas

J.K. Rowling, Tomi Ungerer, Michael Morpurgo, Shirley Hughes and Michael Rosen all feature this year, along with many others

The inimitable Shirley Hughes is still in cracking form at 93 with Dogger’s Christmas (Bodley Head).

J.K. Rowling has written a book for children — and you know what? It’s a charmer. The Ickabod (Hachette, £20) was created for her own children between the Harry Potter books (how does she do it?) and was stashed away until the arrival of Covid, when she found that children were stuck indoors without much to do.

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