Alexander McCall Smith
As a child I was terrified out of my wits by some parts of that dreadful 19th-century German book, Der Struwwelpeter, with its grim illustrations and its threatening text. In particular, I remember being scared stiff of the tailor in the story of “Little Suck-a-Thumb”, an evil-looking character who sported a large pair of bloodstained scissors. He would creep up on children who sucked their thumbs and cut them off. I have a very clear and very early memory of one night being terrified that he was on his way, and being reassured by my parents that this was not the case.