Where the wet patch is

The half-term holiday is drawing in. On the plus side it means that I'll get to take some much needed time off work; on the minus side it means we'll have to drive more than 400 miles north to get to my in-law's home in Glasgow.

I'm hoping that this year's journey will be better than 2008's. The signs are in our favour: we have a new Honda people mover-style car and my youngest daughter is now able to read.

This means that the seven-hour journey should be both more comfortable and less noisy. The fact that my daughter takes enormous pride in being able to read helps, unfortunately, the fact that she is easily scared doesn't.

Her vulnerability to the ghouls, ghosts and monsters that inhabit children's books is complicated by her paradoxical fascination with them. I just hope she doesn't shriek out in horror while reading Janet and Alan Ahlberg's Funnybones – I could do without the big skeleton and the little skeleton being cited in an insurance claim.

But what would Maurice Sendak, author of timeless classic Where the Wild Things Are, make of my daughter's susceptibility to fear. Sendak recently told children that if they "can't handle it", they should "go home. Or wet your pants".

Although my daughter loathes this book - it gives her nightmares - she also loves it and will not allow herself to be parted from it. I only hope she doesn't follow Sendak's advice.

If Sendak telling your child to wet it's pants hasn't dissuaded you, watch the trailer for the film version of Where the Wild Things Are.

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