Award-winning Welsh author publishes first children's book in English

An award-winning Welsh author has just published her first children’s book in English. Caryl Lewis has won numerous awards for her work, including Welsh Book of the Year twice (Martha, Jac a Sianco and Y Bwthyn), as well as numerous awards for her books for children and young adults, including wining the prestigious Tir na n-Og children’s fiction prize twice. She has also been voted Wales’ Favourite Welsh-language Author by BBC Radio Cymru listeners.

 

Little Honey Bee has been beautifully illustrated by Valériane Leblond. Author and illustrator have collaborated before on two very popular Welsh-language children’s books. Sgleinio’r Lleuad, which reached the Tir na n-Og shortlist in 2015, and Merch y Mêl, which also reached the Tir na n-Og shortlist in 2018. Little Honey Bee is Caryl’s translation of the latter, and is the first of their books to be published into English.

 

Merch y Mêl has received high praise with a reviewer saying “Oh what a lovely book! From the moment you hold the hardback book and turn the thick pages, you know that you have in your hands a Welsh classic. And in the masterful hands of author Caryl Lewis and the talented illustrator Valériane Leblond there is a feast!... Every child and adult are sure to love this wonderful book.” Welsh magazine Barn have described the book as “This is a book which celebrates life and the wonders of the world through the eyes of a child.”

 

Little Honey Bee tells the story of Elsi, a little girl left on her grandmother’s doorstep in the middle of the night. She’s as silent as the snow which has blanketed the countryside outside, and remains so until her grandmother shows her a secret at the bottom of the garden at the start of spring – a village of bees! As Elsi follows the bees in the garden throughout the year, she notices everything that takes place over the course of the year and comes to love each season in turn.

 

“I wrote the book partly to teach children about the seasons and the names of things in the countryside around them, words like foxgloves, bluebells, catkins. Children don’t get to learn the names of trees and flowers these days,” explained Caryl Lewis, a belief which is shared by Valériane Leblond:

 

“It’s so important to be aware of what’s around us, and children as well as adults should know and understand more about nature and its relationship with everything.”

 

“I was delighted to work with Caryl again. The story is perfect for me!” said Valériane, “I love illustrating the countryside, the seasons and the natural world – and I’m very close to my grandmother too!”