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Why organise a visit from Alan?

Alan Dapré is experienced at leading events in schools, libraries & festivals. Alan’s varied & interactive sessions take themes from his 6 book Tartan Cat series & focus on making literacy fun! The sessions are suitable for children aged 6 to 10 and usually last 1 hour. Each one can be adapted for length and age on request.

Sessions link to the Curriculum for Excellence - to encourage communication & team work. Plus utilise thinking skills, develop tools for writing & create texts through creative writing exercises.

What could I do in your school?

Hour-long ‘Assembly Style Session’

where I introduce settings, characters & other elements from my Porridge the Tartan Cat series. Involves lots of ‘joining in’ & volunteering! [Usually for P3 to P5 pupils - though I’m flexible on ages and numbers] Essentially it’s about stimulating imagination & encourage children to think outside the box - and the books!

Typical content: Children investigate book covers plus the ‘blurb’ on the back. They discover how Porridge became tartan & have fun ALANysing the characters. We compare Cat fact and fiction using Gadget Grandad’s brawsome tripewriter. Then go on to explore the zany word-play in the series, e.g., quirky band names, crazy World championships, silly similes & terrific tongue-twisters.

Plus we look at what makes an exciting plot! Such as saving the planet from a giant Clootie Dumpling, putting on a Big Gig, rescuing Porridge from a pesky pet shop, turning Dad back from being a dinosaur. Or escaping from hairy Scarewolves! Me-howl! [Followed by a short Q & A activity + optional book signing]

My interactive sessions encourage the audience to ask & respond to questions. LIT 1-07a
I use a greater range of question types with older children. LIT 2-07a
I refer to life as a professional writer, & explore how my own experiences influence my books. HWB 0-20a / HWB 1-20a

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to my booking page.

You’ll find details on fees

& costs, plus handy forms.

"Thank you for such great events which the children thoroughly enjoyed." - Wigtown Book Festival

‘Porridge the Tartan Cat’ based Workshop (max 35 children) where we investigate the wordplay in my books.

[Followed by a short Q & A activity + optional book signing]

I start with a short presentation on the books and explore the wordplay, using props and volunteers.

“The writing is where these books really stand out. It’s actually a rather unique style which I haven’t come across before, and one that must have taken a huge amount of work to perfect. The writing includes alliteration, puns, onomatopoeia and lots of general wordplay. It makes for exciting and fun reading and is a great way to introduce play on words to children, the perfect opening for discussion on words and language. It’s really nicely done, and something I think would go down particularly well in schools for the more advanced readers, who can start to look at word play and explore this further. It would be a very effective book to use in school to aid creative writing also.” - BookMonsterAlly

Then it’s a hands-on experience with wordplay related CATivities. There’s some crafty fun making ‘tongue twisters wheels’, ‘character creation cards’ and an ‘impossible flip-flap knock knock joke maker’. The tasks are all open ended so allow for a level of differentiation.

Further things to do include a spooky Unfair Funfair board game activity, plus a ‘Fold Your Own Tartan Cat’ origami task!

Listening and Talking: LIT 1&2-02a, 1&2-03a, 1&2-04a, 1&2-05a, 1&2-10a
Reading: LIT 1&2-11a, 1&2-16a, ENG 1&2-19a
Writing: LIT 1&2-20a), 1&2-23a, 12&2-24a, 1&2-26a, ENG 1&2-28a
Expressive Arts: Art and Design - EXA 1&2-02a, 1&2-03a, 1&2-04a, 1&2-06a

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to my booking page.

You’ll find details on fees

& costs, plus handy forms.

"By all accounts the children loved your session and the hospital visit." - NessBookFest

Why not have a longer 2 hour session with a combination of chat, stories, & interactive writing tasks?

Hour-long ‘Character Creation Class’

‘Porridge the Tartan Cat’ based Class (max 35 children) where we investigate & create incredible characters.

Children look at key characters in the books: Gadget Grandad is a super-spy. Porridge is a reluctant hero who saves the day. Isla & Ross are adventurous twins. Groovy Gran is a singer with a mysterious musical past. Mini Mum is a scientist with a wee problem and Dino Dad is an archaeologist with a monstrous secret.

We look at each character’s appearance and props. Then explore how an illustrator conveys personality. We discuss how characters talk - and the funny way Porridge describes things using quirky similes. We have fun investigating the terrible traits of fiendish Fergus Mc Fungus. Then, using clues & pictures from the books, we do creative role-play. After that, children sketch out a memorable  character with words and pencils!

Listening and Talking: LIT 1&2-02a, 1&2-03a, 1&2-06a, 1&2-10a
Reading: LIT 1&2-14a, ENG 1&2-19a
Expressive Arts: Drama - EXA 1&2-01a, 1&2-12a, 1&2-13a, 1&2-14a, 1&2-15a
 
I put my deputy headteacher experience to good use by creating stimulating & rewarding group / class activities.

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to my booking page.

You’ll find details on fees

& costs, plus handy forms.

[Followed by a short Q & A activity + optional book signing]

"@AlanDapre visited P2-5 today to talk about his wonderful books 📚 ‘Porridge the Tartan Cat’. Thank you" - Garnock PS

Hour-long ‘How A Book Is Made Session’

A session where children (max 35) study how a Porridge the Tartan Cat book is created - from my initial story idea to finished publication.

Children look at a printed version of one of my books. We discuss the features that are found on the front and back of the cover. Then I explain how I got the idea, the way I make notes and order my ideas. My author pitch to a publisher - how I ‘sell the book concept’. The writing and editing sequence, then rough and final proofs. We’ll compare how text and illustrations change during the publication process. Plus, the contribution of an illustrator - and how my daughter came to be a key illustrated character in the series. Children then create a revised cover of one of my books - with their illustrations and ‘blurb’ on the back.

My Tartan Cat books are designed to have an easy to read layout with a manageable vocabulary (plus engaging story content that promotes comprehension skills). I used to be a Deputy Headteacher and have written plays, stories and a literacy guide for schools.

Listening and Talking: LIT 1&2-02a, 1&2-03a, 1&2-06a, 1&2-10a
Reading: LIT 1&2-14a, ENG 1&2-19a
Expressive Arts: Drama - EXA 1&2-01a, 1&2-12a, 1&2-13a, 1&2-14a, 1&2-15a

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to my booking page.

You’ll find details on fees

& costs, plus handy forms.

[Followed by a short Q & A activity + optional book signing]

"Thanks for your appearance - it went down very well." - Byres Road Book Festival

‘Life As A Children’s Author’ Session

An hour-long session including Q & A discussion (up to 3 classes) where I share my journey as an author and explore the work I have created in a range of genres.

I show a section of children’s books from my writing career (published picture books, stories & plays) and discuss how they each came about. I chat about how I started writing and why. Plus the influences on my work, from Roald Dahl to Superman!

 

I read extracts and we listen to my latest BBC School Radio story - ‘Ulrik the Skiing Viking’. I discuss how the idea came about and what it’s like to write for radio. Then we explore the similarities and differences of writing for TV, radio and illustrated books.

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to my booking page.

You’ll find details on fees

& costs, plus handy forms.

[Followed by a short Q & A activity + optional book signing]

INCREDIBLE CHARACTERS!   PACY PLOTS!         BRAWSOME WORDPLAY!

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to my booking page.

You’ll find details on fees

& costs, plus handy forms.

FREE RESOURCES! [PRE-VISIT & POST-VISIT]

Click on the cat!

Why not team up with another school to maximise the day? If I have enough notice I can do two 1 hour sessions, one in the morning and the other after lunch. I can visit Schools, Libraries, Literature Festivals, Community Groups, Bookshops, Writing Retreats, etc.

Alan Dapré

VISITS &

EVENTS

FEEDBACK ON MY SESSIONS:

“It was a great session, very good feedback and no signed copies left, so I think it's safe to say you were a hit!” - Sally Pattle, ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ (Winner Independent Bookshop Of The Year 2017)

“Looking for a decidedly Scottish flavoured book that is very VERY funny, and not at all chocolate boxy but rather feels much more genuine (but at the same time is completely outrageous)?…A giggle inducing and gloriously silly Scottish story…do track down Porridge the Tartan Cat.” - Zoe Toft, Playing by the Book.

“The latest series to launch from Floris Books’ Young Kelpies list is a wild, laugh-out-loud romp featuring Porridge the Tartan Cat, a long story that involves precisely 1 cat and 1 tin of tartan paint.” - Books from Scotland