But all of us are stuck with the people we’re stuck with, with the time and circumstances we’re born into, the houses and streets and schools we find ourselves occupying, the places we’re taken. ‘Children were brought up on the theory “you’ll like it when you get there”,’ Maxtone Graham writes. ‘Once they did get there and still didn’t like it, it was too late.’ Children can’t even help being posh. Nor can they help being British. Maxtone Graham’s books about children are almost accidentally books about Britain (and, for once, they really are about Britain, not just England), but only almost. The mirror she holds up reveals a strange place, but not an unrecognisable one. The landscape of our childhood is still a country: visiting, we may realise how little we’ve grown out of it.