Tag Archives: picture ebook

eBooks for sale by J R Hartley, I mean Alan Dapré

Do you remember that advert where an old man rings round bookshops until he smiles – puts on his hat – and nips out the door? He is looking for a book by J. R. Hartley and the twist is he is after his own book. 

jr hartley - yellow pages

Well, that wouldn’t happen these days – now that online booksellers are on the scene. He would just have to do a quick Google or Yahoo (is that now a noun too?) and his dusty old book would appear. Selling second-hand on the Used section of Amazon.

It wouldn’t be long before he could read his masterpiece at home, his heart richer and his wallet poorer by £0.01…

It is weird seeing my 63 books selling online. Many are still being sold by the original publishers but some are second/third/fourth-hand and making an income for online sellers. I wish there was a way that I could retain a 10% percentage of such sales but perhaps getting £0.001 is probably not worth it. Of course, some are advertised for ridiculous prices such as £27.79.

So it makes sense for me to try and compete and sell a few books online myself. That brings me to – Cuddle MuddleWiggle Jiggle & Eggy Leggy. Three books for preschoolers, each sporting a playful rhyme and funny narrative.

If you believe in supporting good writing and have a cute pre-schooler who needs a cute ebook then why not give my ebooks a try? I’ve made them dirt cheap – and it would be great to have them read & reviewed.

Click the links to see my colourful illustrations – oh, and a loveable Panda who just needs a Cuddle 😉


Cuddle Muddle Wee Panda Bear tumbles out of bed and needs a Big Bear cuddle, but without her wee black glasses she gets in a cuddle muddle! First she hugs a hippo then cuddles a surprised croc! Until she gets a big Bear cuddle … cute sleepy wee bear just won’t stop!’

Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle  (UK link)
Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle  (US link)


Wiggle  Jiggle – It’s Wee Panda Bear’s Birthday and she has grown an inch in the night. She wiggles and jiggles but her black coat is too tight. When no friends come to play Wee Bear sets off to find them, but nobody is at home. She goes back to her room full of gloom … and gets a brilliant surprise.
‘Wiggle Jiggle’ –  available on kindle (UK link)
‘Wiggle Jiggle’ – available on kindle  (US link)


Eggy Leggy - picture book by Alan Dapre
Eggy Leggy – Wee Panda Bear finds a big egg that suddenly sprouts legs and runs off. It surprises Croc and sails over Snail, buzzes by Bee and bounces on Hippo. Soon Eggy Leggy is stuck in a tree so Wee Bear hatches a plan to set her free. And find out who is inside.

‘Eggy Leggy’ –  available on kindle (UK link)
‘Eggy Leggy’ – available on kindle  (US link)

Cuddle Muddle – my picture ebook is now free 25,26,27th April

Well, if you like pandas and you like cuddles then this is the book for you. I’ve made it free several times before and have got quite a few downloads and some nice reviews. If you have a Kindle Fire/Paperwhite or Kindle For Mac/Windows software then you’ll be able to read my colourful story. Helps to have a preschool youngster too 🙂

Cuddle Muddle Free Alan Dapre

Picture ebook by Alan Dapre


What’s it about?

Wee Panda Bear tumbles out of bed and needs a Big Bear cuddle, but without her wee black glasses she gets in a cuddle muddle! She hugs a hippo then cuddles a croc – and until sleepy Wee Bear cuddles Big Bear she just won’t stop!’ 

I’ve blogged about this story in the past so won’t go on. Feel free to have a wee free read on me 🙂

Cuddle Muddle UK link

Cuddle Muddle US link

Some reviews –

I was recommended this from a friend, and was really pleased. My 3 year old is facinated with my kindle and loves to have a few picture stories on there. She loves the illustrations in this story esp Mummy and Baby Panda! It’s a fantastic little story to keep on your Kindle for emergencies such as a Dr’s surgery waiting room or bus journey when no toys are on hand except my Kindle, unlike some of the other e-books availble for your kindle the illustraitions are of good quality and fit the story well.  Lise 2709

This is an absolutely beautiful book for all little ones that love a big cuddle and big ones that like a wee cuddle!. The book is funny, gentle, heartwarming and the perfect size for a bedtime story. The illustrations are gorgeous – I love the little teddy bear and the firefly. As someone who needed glasses at a very young age, it is especially lovely to see them featured in the story. I look forward to more books from this author. Anna O




Elmer: The Patchwork Elephant – reviewed by Alan Dapré

Okay – I’m reviewing much loved picture books – er, much loved by me that is. Being incredibly ancient I have read lots of children’s picture books over the years … and I’m writing about the ones that really impress me. Feel free to offer up your own views (and books).

So today I’m reviewing ‘Elmer’ – the patchwork elephant – written and illustrated by David McKee.

Elmer the patchwork elephant by David McKee

Elmer - book review by Alan Dapré

Imagine you are a patchwork coloured elephant surrounded by grey elephants. It’s a dull life for everyone and the only bright bits come from Elmer, who has a zest for life. But Elmer wonders what life is like for dull grey folk and disguises himself to match his friends. Now no one knows where Elmer is and everyone wonders where the fun has gone …

I won’t go on or I’ll spoil the gentle twist. This book is justifiably a classic because of its strong plot, simple narrative style and fabulous character creation. In only a few words David McKee conjures up the spirit of Elmer – ‘It was Elmer who kept the elephants happy. Sometimes he joked with the other elephants, sometimes they joked with him. But if there was even a little smile, it was usually Elmer who started it.’ (Text Copyright David McKee)

Adults who are reading with their children will guess the plot twists, though young readers will delight in them. The illustrations cleverly support the words and make everything easy to understand …

We are taken on a simple journey of pachydermic (self) discovery and are left with the conclusion that it’s best just to be yourself … appearances don’t matter, it’s all to do with how you act not what you look like. In a world that increasingly celebrates surface values it’s a relief to have a book that invites children to look a little deeper. Written in 1989 it still resonates today – perhaps even more so – and is a must-have story.

I once met David McKee when he came to Nottingham and I was a newly qualified teacher. Elmer had just come out and he was happily reading aloud and sketching his creation on big sheets of paper. This is the man who brought us ‘Mr Benn‘ in the early 1970’s – another favourite of mine. Like ‘Mr Benn’, David McKee excels in exploring magical worlds and characters. There is a gentle warmth throughout his work and an obvious love for his creations.

So if you want your child to think a little more about others and reflect on what makes us so similar then this is the perfect book. Best of all, there are at least ten in the Elmer Series. I have my favourites … and soon you will have too.


You might like to consider downloading a sample or two of my sunny, funny Wee Bear picture ebooks … (available for KindleFires, Paperwhite, Kindle For Mac & Android).

Cuddle Muddle by Author Alan Dapré

Cuddle Muddle by Alan Dapré

Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle  (UK link)

Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle  (US link)

Wiggle Jiggle Picture ebook by Alan Dapre

Wiggle Jiggle - picture book by Alan Dapré

‘Wiggle Jiggle’ –  available on kindle (UK link)

‘Wiggle Jiggle’ – available on kindle  (US link)

Creating a Fixed Layout Kindle Children’s Picture eBook – some tips by Alan Dapre

NOTE: The Template under discussion here is no longer available.

This post was first published on Dec 10, 2012.

If you are familiar with my blogs you’ll know that I occasionally write about my experiences in creating ebooks. Recently Amazon published Cuddle Muddle by Alan Dapré , a free flowing epub for the b&w Kindle (update:  if you click the above link and download now the ebook has been reworked for KindleFires & is backward compatible with the b&w kindles).

Now that the KindleFire is here I decided to create a fixed layout ebook of my Wee Panda Bear story ‘Wiggle Jiggle’.

I studied the Kindle Fire guidelines but they seemed quite complicated … so I had no option but to scour the net for a decent template.

I found a company called U-DO-IT which makes templates for children’s books and graphic novels. Better still, there is a template which includes region magnification. This means that when text is double tapped it is enlarged in its own box and therefore stands out. Very useful for children’s picture books.

The KF8 Region Magnification template is well constructed, with advice in grey text throughout, and follows the Amazon guidance for region magnification KindleFire books.

I have made my own flowable epubs using other templates so I was kind of familiar with the folders and structure. That said, this is for a fixed layout template so there are definite differences and it is wise to follow the instructions carefully.

One point to note is that helpful guidance is in the UDOIT DOCUMENTATION folder in the form of the index.html document.

It is good that the advice in the tutorial movies is clear and can be stopped and rewound at anytime, though you will use each movie as and when you need one.

It took a moment or two to understand how to format my images and where to put them etc but the advice is there. I just needed to read it all, not just jump in.

After compiling my ebook (i.e. assembling the images at the right size and resolution, added text, setting the layout and look of the region mag boxes, etc) I dragged the content.opf file to Kindle Previewer where I could check for errors.

For me when I got the odd error it meant that a photo was put in the wrong place or I had not put the correct path to it – my error. It helps to make sure that the info in the style.css matches what you put on xhtml pages. A bit of common sense meant I soon sorted issues out.

The resultant mobi made automatically by the Kindle Previewer is found in the Compiled-content.opf folder.

I then went to the KDP site and added my new book title. I entered the details, wrote a description, added an ISBN in my case, verified my publishing rights, added categories & uploaded a cover. (By the way – the tutorials show how to make a cover the right size – all very helpful). I now easily uploaded my Kindle Previewer mobi.

Amazon works some more magic and flashes up the words ‘Upload and conversion successful’. To preview their converted mobi I downloaded it – ‘Wiggle+Jiggle.mobi” – by clicking ‘download book preview file’. I now had it in my downloads folder and could double click it and have a look at it in Kindle For Mac. It worked perfectly.

Amazon has accepted the story and I  have it for sale online. Just click my ebook’s title – Wiggle Jiggle – to go to Amazon –  where you can download it at a great price. 

The whole process of making an ebook for KindleFire was vastly simplified by using this KF8 region mag template. It works. If you have any questions then it’s easy to fire off a comment and get a helpful, slightly grumpy sounding, response.

Please note I am not getting paid to blow U-DO-IT’s trumpet regarding the template – I’m just happy it worked well for me, and is a good tool for authors who don’t want to pay hundreds to get a digital book created. Reckon the template creator owes me a pint for all the traffic he gets.

Update May 30th, 2013 – I have now also created my third ebook – ‘Eggy Leggy’. :)

Update June 21st, 2013 –  Sadly, I am unable to offer advice to anyone stuck using the current updated U-DO-IT template. I have not used it so cannot vouch for its usefulness. The template I used did work for me but involved a lot of head scratching before I got it. The software maker has provided detailed info but it takes some getting used to. Best to read his comments section and then write your own.

I am getting lots of hits on this article. Please buy and download my ebooks -feel free to  take them apart to see how well they are made.


Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle  (UK link)

Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle  (US link)

Cuddle Muddle Author Alan Dapre

Cuddle Muddle Book 1

‘Wiggle Jiggle’ –  available on kindle (UK link)

‘Wiggle Jiggle’ – available on kindle  (US link)

Wiggle Jiggle Author Alan Dapre

Wiggle Jiggle Book 2

‘Eggy Leggy’ –  available on kindle (UK link)

‘Eggy Leggy’
 – available on kindle  (US link)
Eggy Leggy - picture book by Alan Dapre

Eggy Leggy – picture book by Alan Dapre