ONE very new book in particular has been stirring the imaginations of youngsters at Busy Bees in Ledbury, and the pre-school youngsters are even in contact with its illustrator.

Emma Davis, manager at Busy Bees, which is based at The Hive in Bye Street, the former youth club building said: "Our focus has been a book called The Runaway Pea which is written by Kjartan Poskitt and illustrated by Alex Willmore.

" It's not actually out until July 11 but I review picture books so was lucky enough to receive an advance copy. When we read it to the children, it was an immediate hit, so much so that we decided to have a whole 'Runaway Pea' week of fun and learning."

Mrs Davis added: "The children have been decorating biscuits to look like the runaway pea, tried different sorts of peas including peas in a pod, cooked peas, mushy peas and marrowfat peas. These items have also been used for weighing and counting activities too. We visited Tesco in search of green items and had a go at scanning some peas through the till, pressing the buttons to generate our receipt.

"We have enjoyed the book so much that some of the children have become experts at retelling the story. I have scribed their words and the children will draw pictures to represent the events in the story. It will be recorded in a large A3 floor book which we will be posting off to the author once complete.

"Also this week, we have held a competition for the child to draw, paint or collage the pea. Alex Willmore, kindly agreed to pick a winner, who will receive a copy of The Runaway Pea."