There is a real buzz of excitement at a Garston primary school as one of the school’s teachers has published his first insect-inspired book!
Entitled Arthur Bee Has A Secret, the book tells the tale of a little bee with a secret that he’s too embarrassed to talk about. It’s a secret that bees aren’t expected to have, and the whole beehive is affected. How will Queen Bee react when she finds out Arthur’s secret?
It was written by the school’s cover supervisor, Shaun Millea, who was inspired to put pen to paper after his own son’s experience with hay fever.
The father of two, from Halewood, explained: “My son is now 23 but when he was seven he had very bad hay fever. He couldn’t go anywhere near a field or flower without having an awful reaction. It got so bad that he even ended up at A&E- unable to breath with severe eye pain.
“He would get very upset as he couldn’t play ‘on the field’ with his friends in the summer. However, he was very good at the time at karate.
“So, I made up the story of a bee that had hay fever and so unable to do all the normal bee things but he was good at making honey in the laboratory.
“I was just trying to find a scenario that my son could relate to and I thought a seven-year-old would grasp the idea of a bee.”
After writing the story many years ago, 52-year-old Shaun put it away in the attic with all his other childhood memories until he re-discovered it recently. He dusted it off and gave it a new lease of life.
The 52-year-old recalled: “One day I found it, re-read it, liked it and then typed it out. I drew my own rough illustrations and used it in school, reading it to the children. They all seemed to enjoy it.”
A chance meeting with renowned Liverpool author, Jude Lennon, who was visiting Banks Road School led to Shaun getting his work published.
He explained: “I asked her about publication, she was very supportive and put me in touch with Sue Miller of Team Author UK. I had a meeting with her, showed her my rough version of the story and she liked it.
“That was in September 2017 then in February 2018 it was published. Seeing it in print is one of the most special moments I’ve had. I couldn’t stop smiling!”
And the children at Banks Road are thrilled to see their teacher’s work in print.
Shaun revealed: “They come to me constantly telling me how much they enjoy reading about Arthur and his friends. I really enjoy it when they tell me that they want to write a book. I love that!
“Words are everything. All people – especially children – need to learn to love books and reading for their development and learning. The more they read the more they understand, it helps with their vocabulary and writing. Reading helps to educate children on issues in life without them realising it.”
The school children have been buying Shaun’s book in droves and he has been signing lots of copies. He will also be visiting Carleton House Preparatory School in Liverpool and Wigwam play café to do book readings and will be launching the book at Write Blend Book Shop on 7th April.
Plus, he is busy penning his next book. Said Shaun: “I’ve written four more books and another that I’m working on now. Hopefully my next book will be Peter Peregrine’s Problem. This is finished and when I’m ready I’ll send it off to the publisher to look at.
“I’m also excited about a new character who appears briefly in a book called Wisho Land. His name is Mr Chakrabarti. He later has his own couple of books, Mr Chakrabarti’s Emporium. It’s about the adventures that come with each purchase from his ’emporium.'”
Shaun has lots of words of encouragement for other budding authors: “Look around you at situations and people, everywhere you look there is a character or story right in front of you. Have a pen and pad with you all the time, sometimes ideas pop into your head and if you don’t write them down, you forget them.
“Don’t let anybody put you off or put your work down. It’ll be better than even you think, keep going, don’t give in. BEE-LIEVE in yourself!”
*Arthur Bee Has a Secret is available on Amazon and from Nowhere Books Shop, Bold Street and Write Blend Book Shop in Waterloo, priced £7.99.