31 JANUARY 2004, Page 30

Wonderful cones?

From Sarah Leyland Sir: I am not normally a very sympathetic person, but I did feel sorry for Anthony Horowitz's poor children, doomed to play with traditional wooden tops and handsewn dolls while their friends have fun with plastic Spiderman web-shooters (`Gifts rapped', 24 January). Horowitz may pine for glass marbles and tin soldiers, but most kids these days think, rightly, that toys that don't light up, shoot or squirt something are a bit of a rip-off. The fact that they break in a fortnight is a bonus — it means that you can get new stuff and keep up with the latest craze. Horowitz quotes H.G. Wells to illustrate his idea of the perfect sort of toys, 'magic balls, magic hens, wonderful cones... ' Wonderful cones? What's he on?

Sarah Leyland (aged 14)

London SW3