AlansBigScaryTeethI learnt about the Bookstart scheme to give books to all children at certain ages before school “to help families read together every day and inspire children with a rewarding love of books” whilst writing a books page for our local newspaper long before having children.

So since having children, finding out what’s in their Bookstart packs has always been something I’ve been quite excited about.

Today Luke came home from nursery with his latest selection – Alan’s Big Scary Teeth by Jarvis (Walker Books).

Coincidentally, Willow has asked me several times during the day to draw her a crocodile so straight away it’s been a very fortuitous choice.

And, with its scares, secrets, surprises and self-discovery, it was a fun read too.

Alan comes from a long line of very scary alligators and loves being scary himself but the other jungle animals come to discover all is not what it seems and, with a little bit of support, Alan finds out that not only is he talented in more than just one way, he can also put his favourite skill to good use instead of bad.

Any story that gives my children the chance to practice their evil laughs, joining in with Alan’s “BWA-HA-HA!”, gets my vote and, having been asked to read it more than once this bedtime, it obviously gets theirs too.