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CQUni award-winning former visual arts student Erin as busy as a bee thanks to children’s book

Published:14 December 2020

CQUniversity former Visual Arts student Erin Dunne has illustrated a unique children’s book for the State Library of Queensland’s (SLQ) First Five Forever: Stories for Little Queenslanders project.

CQUniversity former Visual Arts student Erin Dunne has achieved one of her biggest first milestones, by illustrating a unique children’s book for the State Library of Queensland’s (SLQ) First Five Forever: Stories for Little Queenslanders project.

The 2019 Bayton Award and 2018 CQU Creates winner illustrated Hotel for Bees (written by Alison McLennan), which was one of 12 children’s books published and released by SLQ this month.

Erin said illustrating a children’s book had been on her wish list since she was a child growing up on her parents’ property (on Wadjigu Country) just outside Rockhampton, where books, particularly children’s books, were always available.

“This was something I’d always wanted to do,” Erin said.

“The SLQ put out a call earlier this year looking for artists with a really strong connection to Queensland, so I responded. I was accepted and paired with the writer Alison McLennan.

“I worked on the book for six months – it was a steep learning curve but a lot of fun because I got support from a big team.”

Hotel for Bees tells the tale of brother and sister Charlotte and Benji who encounter a bee. Benji is scared of bees, but Charlotte and her dad work together to build a Bee Hotel to show him just how special bees are.

“It’s a beautiful story and I really wanted to do it justice and make it accessible for little kids,” Erin said.

“It’s cute and funny and relatable.

“I feel really lucky to have been involved in this project. As an arts educator, literacy building in children is very important to me.”

Since completing the children’s book, Erin has been hard at work preparing a solo exhibition that will run in the Queensland College of Art’s Project Gallery from mid-January next year.

Hotel for Bees is available at all Queensland public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres. Copies are also available in the State Library. The book is also available as a free e-book and audiobook.

More information https://www.slq.qld.gov.au/first5forever/books and https://www.erindunneart.com/