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Beware of Herbert the Rat

The door to the children’s room, to be found on the home page of this site, can now be opened. It leads to pages relating to my children’s books – pages which have been so superlatively designed by Joyce Serrano, under the project managership of my son Xan, that I now worry whether the books can live up the website which promotes them.

There is another important new feature to the site. When they arrive, sharp-sighted visitors may notice a rat emerging from the Children’s Room , legging it dementedly across the page before disappearing off the screen.

It is Herbert the Rat, the rodent hero of my Ms Wiz series, as drawn by the great Tony Ross.

There has been a worry that Herbert’s presence may work against the occasionally serious tone of the blogs and articles which also appear on the home page. I hope not. If those engaged in our great moral and ethical debates about morality and justice – Melanie Phillips, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bono –  dismiss my views because a  rat happens scurrying by, then we can surely agree that the problem is with them, not with Herbert or me.

If there is not enough room for seriousness and a talking rat with class issues, then there is something very wrong with the world.