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Deeside writer and illustrator duo publish new children’s book on the importance of bees

Author Sabine Muir, left, and illustrator Agnieszka Brozek, right, have created a new book called The VIBs: The Very Important Bees.
Author Sabine Muir, left, and illustrator Agnieszka Brozek, right, have created a new book called The VIBs: The Very Important Bees.

A Deeside author and artist children’s book duo have been very busy bees during lockdown and created a brand new story for youngsters about one of the world’s most important insects.

Illustrator Aga Brozek and writer Sabine Muir have previously worked on two other children’s picture books about wildlife, including “I’m Not That Scary” about a spider called Webster, and “Josephine, Drama Queen” about Aberdeen’s famous gulls.

The pair’s newest publication is called “VIBs: The Very Important Bees”, and is aimed at helping youngsters understand how key bees are to the environment.

It also features a guest appearance from a Deeside resident who died at age 105 in 2012.

Ms Muir said: “’The VIBs is a picture book for young children to highlight the importance of bees and how people can help them by sowing and planting flowers.

“Locals may recognize a very popular Crathie and Ballater person in the book.

“She was called Mary Isabella Fraser, aka Granny Fraser.

“I was inspired by Granny Fraser and her love of flowers. She won awards for her window boxes when living at Sluiemohr sheltered housing, even at a ripe old age.”

The book tells the story of youngster Beatrice, who visits Granny Fraser every day after school, and because Granny’s neighbours are too busy “watching TV and playing with their phones to do any gardening”, the local bees are “unhappy, hungry and fed up”, and so Beatrice and friends make a plan to help plant flowers for them.

Ms Brozen said: “I hope that my illustrations will help and interest children enough to bring them closer to the importance of bees.”

Copies of the book, which is suitable for under-fives and early readers, are available from Deeside Books in Ballater, and in various shops from Braemar to Aberdeen.

The pair are hoping to run story time sessions in north-east schools and libraries in the future, when restrictions allow.

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