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Seasonal verse

Christmas Poems manages to pack an impressive variety of styles and themes within its chunky pocket-sized format. Among the 80-odd pieces collected are the words of some of the essential traditional carols. There are also some favourite anthology items, such as TS Eliot's "Journey of the Magi" and verses by Christina Rossetti, John Betjeman, Ted Hughes and Charles Causley, who died this month . But living poets are here too. UA Fanthorpe, Wendy Cope and Jackie Kay all find a place. Between them, the writers celebrate everything from snow and stockings to the nativity story and its associated piety and wonder. Christmas Poems is pound;5.99 from Macmillan Children's Books.

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