Author details

Alan Dapré


Born in Ramsgate, when television was still black & white, Alan Dapré now lives in colourful North Ayrshire. His early years were spent surviving care and foster homes and a boarding school in Sandwich - near Ham - nowhere near Hogwarts.

At Nottingham Trent University he studied Creative Arts and won a couple of play writing competitions. Alan qualified to become a Primary Teacher and subsequently became a Deputy Headteacher. He continued writing and his plays were broadcast on Radio 4, while his many playscripts were published for schools. Alan also illustrated three humorous books for pre-teens.

He left teaching in 2001 to become a full-time scriptwriter for children's television and wrote over 100 episodes - many still airing on the BBC and worldwide - with Boohbah nominated for the Children's BAFTA. Eight busy years later, Alan fell off his chair and decided it was nicer to sit on the floor and write more of his own stuff.

He loves long beach walks, sketching, crosswords, and rhubarb crumble. He now spends his days looking after his wee daughter while writing new books for future publication... simultaneously finding lost teddies and juggling unexploded nappies.

About writer's work

I write across the genres and nearly everything I do has humour in it, even the serious stuff. My plays for schools are written for readers who love adventure and unexpected story twists.

People have said quite lovely things about my work which I would like to share here.

Boohbah - ‘My favourite non-Boohbah sequence involved Brother and Sister hunting for huge pearls inside giant iridescent oyster shells on a white sand beach under a clear blue sky. It was not only beautifully shot and hypnotic to watch but, screened in a different context, might easily be shortlisted for the Turner prize.’ THE OBSERVER REVIEW Brum (TV) - '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.’ THE TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT Everything You Need To Know When You're 8 (Book) - ‘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 (Book) - ‘Full of sublime insights’ THE OBSERVER Kenny, Thirty-Minute Theatre, (Radio) 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


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

Edinburgh, Glasgow

Age groups

0-4, 5-8

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type