Sprokwobbles café in Bridge Street, Usk, was packed to capacity for the launch of Daniel McGowan’s quirky tale of ‘Strange Head Fred’.

The book, which is also illustrated by Daniel, is aimed at the 5-8-year-old age group but can be enjoyed by the child in all of us.

As well as a fun story about Fred, and the mishaps that can befall someone whose head is made of putty, the book carries a message of kindness and acceptance – of oneself as well as others.

The audience, glasses of prosecco and mulled wine in hand, heard Daniel in conversation with author Janine Amos, whose children’s book ‘Walking on Gold’ is also on sale at Sprokwobbles. He explained how ‘Strange Head Fred’ came into being - as well as how it nearly didn’t when his young dog got hold of his manuscript! The two authors also discussed the joy of writing for children as well as the pitfalls one has to avoid.

‘One of the pleasures,’ Daniel explained, ‘is that a children’s story allows you to give complete rein to your imagination and take the narrative to places that would be impossible when writing for adults.’

Penny Reeves, who runs Saron publishing which produced ‘Strange Head Fred’, said, ‘It was wonderful to work with Daniel on this book and ensure that the vibrant illustrations as well as the text transferred well from notebook stage to the finished product. Like all good children’s books the humour can be appreciated by children and adults.’

More adventures for Fred are in the pipeline, but meanwhile this book, along with the range of novels, non-fiction, local and niche books for sale in Sprokwobbles, makes an excellent, different, Christmas present. It can also be bought direct from Amazon.