Mullingar artist celebrates ‘traditional’ publication of new book

Tuesday September 1 marks a big day for author and artist Dolores Keaveney as she celebrates the publication of her new hardback picture book, ‘Dee the Bee’.

Published by Starfish Bay Children’s Books, ‘Dee the Bee’ will be distributed throughout Ireland and UK, and in America, Australia and New Zealand by the end of the year.

"It’s my very first traditionally published book, everything else up until now I have self-published, so it’s a really big day for me," Dolores told the Westmeath Examiner.

"I’ve had an amazing journey in 11 years, from when I first published ‘If I Were a Bee’. This will be my 14th book, and I’ve illustrated two more, one for my husband John and one for Mary Redmond.

"I loved self-publishing but I’ve always challenged myself and little bit, so to accomplish this is amazing."

This wonderful children’s picture book introduces readers to a variety of fruit and vegetables that the humble bee pollinates. It helps readers appreciate the importance of bees in the natural world.

It is filled with stunning watercolour illustrations of fruit and vegetables and has diagrams on how the pollination process takes place. It is both educational and a treat.

Readers will see how many of their favourite fruits, vegetables and plants depend on the hard work of bees. Pollination is an especially important part of the life cycle of plants, and the book explores the role of bees in that process.

A must-have for your children’s autumn reading list, ‘Dee the Bee’ will be available in bookshops across the country, including Eason and Just Books in Mullingar, where you can now order it.

As well as all bookshops, ‘Dee the Bee’ will be available in libraries and online at Amazon and the Book Depository.

"It’s educational, it teaches children all about pollination and about the many fruits and veg that the bee pollinates," said Dolores.

"As well as a diagram demonstrating how the bee picks up the pollen and pollinates each flower, there’s also a list of the type of flowers we should all be growing in our gardens to sustain and attract the pollinator population. So it’s a fun but practical guide as well."

James Lowry, who is assistant principal IN St Mary’s School in Navan, and a friend of Dolores, said: "If we really want our fragile planet to survive and flourish again for our children and theirs, then learning all about ‘Dee the Bee’ and her playful pollination is the perfect first step.

"From the wonderful illustrations of nature, our food and bee-friendly blossoms, this book will captivate anyone that has eyes to see the beauty of Dee the Bee. If I had my way this would be the main textbook in every single primary classroom for next September. Bravo for Dolores and Dee the Bee! "

About the author/illustrator:

Mullingar native Dolores Keaveney is an artist, painting for the best part of 40 years. She has a range of textiles using her images.

She gets her inspiration from her garden when in summertime it is packed full of flowers.

Dee The Bee is her first traditionally published book. In 2009 Dolores self-published her first children’s picture book, If I Were a Bee.

She has published one or two books each year since. Her books have been and are used in schools and libraries throughout the country with several on CBI’s Recommended Reading List.