In the wake of swingeing arts cuts, does it qualify as consorting with the enemy? Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have taken the time to recommend their favourite children’s books for the online book club that the Royal Shakespeare Company has launched to tie in with its new family musical Matilda, adapted from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, which premieres in Stratford-upon-Avon in December. Cameron’s choice is Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall’s Our Island Story, covering the time of the Romans to the death of Queen Victoria, which he says “nurtured my interest in the history of our great nation”; Clegg opts for Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo, which has also been successfully adapted for the stage. Others who have so far contributed recommendations include actors Emma Thompson and Paul Kaye, who stars as Matilda’s dad in the musical. All recommendations can be viewed via the show website. No word on Chancellor George Osborne’s favourite.