By Dixie Ann Belle
When an enterprising little insect called Honeybee leaves her hive for the first time one morning for a day of foraging, she little knows what kind of adventures she will encounter.
Local author, Vearna Argualine Gloster hopes Honeybee’s journey will captivate young readers in her book Honeybee and Nectarine, a tale of nature and the power of friendship.
As a local, female beekeeper and activist, finding the subject of her first children’s book was simple for Gloster. “My inspiration for Honeybee and Nectarine came from the need to see both children and adults become more aware of honeybees,” she explains. “I saw that there is not much literature in our school system, if any at all, about the importance bees play in food production. So, with that along with my love for beekeeping, I wrote.”
Growing up in a farming family, Gloster was always close to nature. In later years, she worked on local conservation projects. Eventually, she settled on her main passions, bees, bee keeping and bee advocacy. She has pioneered several projects tailored to raise awareness of the importance of bees and the local bee industry.
Honeybee and Nectarine is not her first foray into writing. In the past, Gloster has written a short story as well as poetry with many of her works inspired by nature and bees.
She thought that this children’s book would be an ideal way to connect with youngsters and help them learn while entertaining them with her fantasy.
As Honeybee ventures out for the first time to collect nectar and pollen for her hive mates, she encounters many challenges and makes a new friend, a flower named Nectarine.
The story not only educates readers about the life of the typical honeybee, but it also becomes a fable about resilience and connecting with others.
The fanciful tale comes alive through Gloster’s imaginative storytelling and the artwork of local artist, Kwame Hinds.
Like Gloster, this children’s book is a first for Hinds, an airbrush artist by profession. His vivid illustrations help capture the varying moods of the story and hopefully will captivate and educate children following the characters’ adventures.
“I believe that young readers will better understand why bees go to flowers, why they are there on that flower and what transpires as the bee is there,” says Gloster.
She hopes children will also see the beauty of friendship and understand how to interact with others who are different and who may come from diverse backgrounds. “This can help them see how working together can do so much for the entire community,” she declares.
At a time when many children will not be able to go out much, Gloster hopes that parents will sit with their children to read her book and consequently strengthen family bonds and maybe learn a bit themselves about the life of honeybees.
The book is presently available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Booktopia. Locally, hard copies will soon be available with free delivery. Gloster also has plans for an e-book version.
Fresh from the exhilaration of publishing her first children’s book, Gloster is currently working on a young adult novel called 20 Minutes. Her writing plan for the sequel to Honeybee and Nectarine is already in the works!
Find out more about Vearna Argualine Gloster at https://www.facebook.com/Vearna.A.Gloster/ and discover more about Kwame Hinds at https://www.facebook.com/paintbrushsword37