A Wellington grandfather, Richard Scrivener, has had his first book published – a children’s story in rhyme.

Richard, of Waterloo Road, wrote Dinosaur Dan: The Hunt some time ago but it wasn’t until one of his three daughters picked it up that he decided to look for a publisher.

Another daughter, Phoebe, put him in touch with illustrator Owen Watts – and publisher Austin Macauley lapped it up.

That is not surprising, because Dinosaur Dan is a charming, original and funny tale about a ‘pre-historic hero and his motley tribal chums and dastardly foes’.

Set in the Stone Age, it tells (at quite a lick) of the adventures of Dan and his hunter friends who are unimpressed by ‘great uncle Reggie the veggie’ and sally forth to track down meat.

Dramas unfold including an encounter with a sabre-toothed tiger and the timely arrival of Archaeopteryx Arthur: ‘As the terror loomed larger, Arthur jumped from his charger and extracted a stick from his pocket. At the end of the stick was a tube with a wick – Look, I’ve invented the rocket!’

Of course, that’s not the end of the story - as a herd of bison would attest.

Richard was inspired by his travels as ‘an Army kid’ in Africa and the Far East, where he experienced jungles and canoe travel.

“I wrote the poem as an exercise when living in East Nynehead then put it aside. One day, my eldest daughter, Sophie, picked it up and said ‘why don’t you do something with this?’,” said Richard.

“When I had an email from the publisher, I was double-chuffed.”

Before retirement, Richard worked in architectural antiques and was later project manager for the restoration of historic parks and gardens in Bracknell, under the auspices of The Heritage Lottery Fund.

But he has also assisted in schools: “I’ve always had a bit of a rapport with children,” he said. “I hope they will like Dinosaur Dan – and that their parents will too.”

n Dinosaur Dan: The Hunt is out in hardback (£12.99) and paperback (£10.99) and is available in Taunton at WH Smith, Blackmore’s and Waterstone’s – or pick up a flyer and fill out the form on the back to send to Austin Macauley Publishers.