Author details

Alan Dapré


Alan Dapré writes humorous story and picture books for young readers, full of fun and zany wordplay. He has also written many scripts for children's TV & BBC Radio. Alan was once a Deputy Headteacher, and twice a petrol pump attendant...

Alan has written for Junior magazine, won a BBC Young Radio Playwright competition, and once won a competition to have his work performed at the Nottingham Playhouse. His TV work for Boohbah was BAFTA nominated. 

About writer's work

Alan Dapré is an experienced author of over 60 humorous story and picture books for young readers, full of energy, fun and engaging wordplay. 

He has written one hundred scripts for children's television: transmitted in the UK and around the world. His plays have been on BBC Radio 4 and published for use in schools worldwide.

Alan's books and plays don't set out to have grand themes but they explore notions of identity (The Boss, The Finders), self-belief (Amy's Armbands), magical change (Mixed-Up Myths), and ordinary people doing extraordinary things (Beanpole Billy, Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Brawsome Bagpipes).

He creates across a range of mediums; be it picture books, storybooks, plays or painting. Alan's writing more often than not has lots of humour, energy and imaginative wordplay. He creates active, engaging characters for girls and boys to identify with, and enjoy.

A former Deputy Headteacher, Alan is experienced at leading sessions in schools. All of his hands-on activities are designed to interact with the children and to spark their imaginations. 

Based in North Ayrshire, Alan is bringing his newest creation, Porridge the Tartan Cat, to schools, festivals and libraries around Scotland and beyond. His 6 book series for young readers presents a cat's-eye view of an adventurous fun-loving family, who each have a surprising secret. Sessions will mainly be based on elements from Porridge the Tartan Cat with the focus on making reading & writing fun.

Within the imaginative world of stories, a typical session will explore themes that tie-in with the Curriculum for Excellence:

INCREDIBLE CHARACTERS: Alan’s Porridge the Tartan Cat books are full of funny individuals, such as Porridge, Gadget Grandad, Groovy Gran and Fergus Mc Fungus. Using entertaining activities and excerpts from his books, he explores what makes them fly off the page. Or in Porridge’s case, curl up on it.

PACY PLOTS:  We go on a heroic journey through Thyme and Space, on the trail of Fergus and his giant Clootie Dumpling of Doom.  Then discover what it takes for Groovy Gran to reunite her band and put on a Big Gig.

BRAWSOME WORD-PLAY:  Drawing from his books – and his trusty tripewriter -  Alan and the audience have fun with puns, jokes and terrifically tongue-twisting wordplay. Me-wow.  

Events are suitable for 6 to 9 year olds, and each session can be adapted for length and age suitability on request. Workshops as well as presentations are available.Further information about Alan's events and visits can be found on his website.

Some of Alan's reviews:

'We are used to Brum on television but Brum in a book? Will it work? Yes, it does. Children under four were all captivated by each action packed page: Wonderfully busy, full of colour, images, short captions and narrative all designed to guide the reader and listener through exciting new adventures in the big city. An equal delight to Brum fans and those new to him.’  LINDA NASH, THE TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT

Everything You Need To Know When You're 8 - ‘Is a confidentially written, jokey look at life from an 8-year-old’s viewpoint. There are capital letters, italics and asterisks all over the place in this humorous book, pitched at just the right level. An ideal fun book for a classroom corner or a birthday present.’  THE SCHOOL LIBRARIAN

'A slightly subversive and therefore highly attractive guide to some of the things eight-year-olds should know. It gives some useful advice, couched in a style that appeals enormously to an eight-year-old’s developing sense of humour.’  THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE

Everything You Need To Know When You're 7 - ‘Full of sublime insights’ THE OBSERVER

Stranger in the Home, Thirty-Minute Theatre, Radio 4 'CHOICE: Stripped to its essentials - bereaved husband in an old people’s home waiting for the letter from his son that could send him off to a new life in New Zealand - Alan Dapré’s monologue does not add much to the sum of human knowledge. It is redeemed by the writer’s acute understanding of those unexpected flashes of kindness and unthinking cruelty that can lighten or darken all our lives.’  THE TIMES

Kenny, Thirty-Minute Theatre, Radio 4 ‘CHOICE: Alan Dapré would not be writing for this festival if he were old enough to remember the golden days of the comedy crosstalk act. But although it would probably be misrepresenting his play to see it as an attempt to capture a flavour of the cut-and-thrust routines of old, this station platform conversation between two teenage lads making a break from a children’s home does stir memories of those music hall duos whose humour kept touching raw nerves of truth.’ THE TIMES

Websites featuring the author

WebsiteFloris BooksFacebookTwitterWikipedia

Other work

10 Brum Story books (Edited 2 others) Hodder Children’s Books Brum Activity books Writer/Compiler Hodder Children’s Books Brum Novelty books Hodder Children’s Books Brum Board books Hodder Children’s Books Brum Soundbooks Publications Int. Ltd. Brum Annual Hodder Children’s Books 2003-2004 Boohbah Storybooks Ladybird / Scholastic Boohbah Mini-story book Ladybird

Amy's Armbands Format: Picture Book Paperback: 16 pages Publisher: Ginn Lighthouse Series 1 edition (22 May 2001) Language: English ISBN-10: 0 602 302714 ISBN-13: 978-0602302719 Age Group: 5-8 Synopsis: Amy hates to swim but her new armbands give her a really splashing time - in the air! Themes: Fantastical journeys. Unexpected Endings

Beanpole Billy Format: Picture Book Paperback: 24 pages Publisher: Ginn Lighthouse Series 1 edition (2001) Language: English ISBN 0 602 30278 1 Age Group: 5-8 Synopsis: Billy was so tall everyone thought he was the new teacher. Find out what happens on his first day at school. Themes: Mistaken Identity. Opposites. Cleaning up

Taking Shelter Format: Playscript Paperback: 32 pages Publisher: Ginn New Reading 360 Plays (1993) Language: English ISBN: 0602257646 Age Group: 7-11 Synopsis: Three children take shelter during an air raid. Their Mum is late and it's getting dark. Are they safe in their shelter? Themes: World War Two. Isolation. Teamwork

Beware the Wolf Format: Playscript Paperback: 48 pages Publisher: Heinemann (Impact Series) 1 edition (27 Aug 1999) Language: English ISBN-10: 0435212346 ISBN-13: 978-0435212346 Age Group: (reluctant readers/teens) Synopsis: What is the secret of the old school building? Sam dares Jon and Robbo to stay there one night and find out. But soon they are in danger. Can they escape in time? Themes: Friendship. Coping with adversity. Surprise

The Boss Format: Playscript Paperback: 32 pages Publisher: Heinemann (Impact Series); 1 edition (19 April 2001) Language: English ISBN-10: 0435212869 ISBN-13: 978-0435212865 Age Group: (reluctant readers/teens) Synopsis: A new kid in town threatens Jeff's status as the coolest boy in school. Rob's ability to process new skills is amazing. But is he for real? Themes: Not being all you seem. Trying your best. Honesty

Another Level Format: Playscript Paperback: 32 pages Publisher: Heinemann (Impact Series) 1 edition (25 May 2000) Language: English ISBN-10: 0435213989 ISBN-13: 978-0435213985 Age Group: (reluctant readers/teens) Synopsis: Jake desperately wants to get to the next level of his computer game, but what will he find when he gets there? Theme: What is reality?

Time Ship Format: Playscript Paperback: 32 pages Publisher: Heinemann (Impact Series); 1 edition (25 May 2000) Language: English ISBN-10: 043521392X ISBN-13: 978-0435213923 Age Group: (reluctant readers/teens) Synopsis: A spaceship is drifting in space. The captain and crew are missing. What terrible dangers lie waiting inside and out? Themes: Things being never-ending, and not what they seem

‘Stranger in the Home’ 30 min. ‘darkly comic’ play for adults BBC Radio 4 Armchair Theatre (1993) ‘Kenny’ 30 min. ‘coming of age’ play for teenagers BBC Radio 4 Armchair Theatre A winner at the 'BBC Radio 4's Young Playwrights Festival 1991

Comeback One act Play performed at the Nottingham Playhouse and Derby Playhouse (1987) after winning their Young Writers' Competition

Postcards From The Edge Monthly topical column in Junior Education Magazine running from 1991 to 1992



Local authority where they are based

North Ayrshire

Local authorities where they can work

Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Age groups

5-8, 9-12, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type

Playwright, Writer



Books written

Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Bash-Crash-Ding book cover

Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Bash-Crash-Ding

Author(s): Alan Dapré
(Illustrated by Yuliya Somina) Porridge the Tartan cat (it's a long story involving a tin of tartan paint!) has been framed!
Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Brawsome Bagpipes book cover

Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Brawsome Bagpipes

Author(s): Alan Dapré
(Illustrated by Yuliya Somina) Porridge the Tartan Cat (it's a long story involving a tin of tartan paint!) has discovered Gadget Grandad is not your average snoringly boring grandad after all!