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Big in Scotland

by | Mar 25, 2015 | Our Work | 0 comments

It is old news to many of you that this year’s Bobbledy Books “make your own” book winner has been announced. This happened nearly two months ago, in fact,  but for reasons that will soon be clear, we have been unable to tell you about her until now.

Meet Maia Blackie, the youngest published author in the history of Scotland, pictured here with her very own book, Rosie and the Bees.

Maia is this year’s winner.


Because mail travels slowly to Scotland, and especially big boxes full of many extra copies for all of Maia’s family and friends, we had to wait to tell you that Maia had won the contest until Maia herself discovered that she had won the contest. But books eventually arrived, triggering great excitement in Glasgow and leading to the taking of the photo above.

Such furor resulted from the news of Maia’s win that it captured the notice of The Herald, a Scottish newspaper. You can follow this link if you’d like to read the whole story. It’s really quite wonderful.


If you take nothing else away from the article, I want you to know that Rosie and the Bees is a “really lovely, simple wee tale, full of humor and fun.”

Keep in mind that the unfinished book we sent out for club members to complete with their own stories and drawings was called The __________ Adventures of the ____________ Piggy Bank. We made it clear that club members were allowed to change the name if they liked.

Maia certainly took us up on the offer.


Given that we love the cover, we urge you to judge this book by it.

Robbi had a lot of fun adding speech bubbles and colored backgrounds to make Maia’s wonderful drawings and layouts really come alive.


We love how well Maia worked with the illustration prompts that Robbi left for kids to build their stories and drawings around. For example, in the unfinished book we sent out, the page below was blank except for the illustration of a band-aid.

Maia’s decision to put it on Rosie’s nose was just right.


In the course of working with Maia’s book, we learned a thing or two about Scottish culture and language. For example, did you know that “knickers” is the Scottish way of saying “underwear?” We did not. But now we do. (Please take note of the pink knickers with red hearts; I am going get myself a pair.)


Although Rosie and the Bees is an overwhelmingly heartwarming tale, there is one moment of dramatic tension when Maia’s friend Lilly wields a saw and threatens (with a wicked gleam in her eye) to cut down a tree.


Lilly is well-intentioned, of course. Her aim is dispersing the menacing swarm of bees that has already resulted in Rosie’s being stung on the nose.

But Maia (Maia the character in Rosie and the Bees, not Maia the author; this is all very meta, of course) stops her friend, saves the tree, and finds another solution. As any heroic figure should. Maia the character is one heck of a character.

And Maia the kid is one heck of a kid. Here is her self-portrait (with the aforementioned Rosie).


Already an accomplished writer and artist at the tender age of six, Maia is also a great fan of all animals, from her good pal Rosie to the lowly cockroach.


I want to give a shout-out to all the other kids who sent us books this year. There were so many great stories and so many amazing drawings that it was REALLY, REALLY hard to pick just one to publish. We wish we had a trunk of gold and an army of designers so that we could publish each and every one of them. But for now, we had the fun of picking one illustration from each book to publish in the back of Rosie and the Bees.

Look at all this wonderful stuff.


Aren’t kids amazing?



We are already looking forward to next year’s contest. We have decided to throw a twist into the mix the next time around. Stay tuned, Bobbledy club members everywhere. And for all of the rest of you, please join me in a round of applause for Maia, the youngest published author in the history of Scotland.

We couldn’t be more proud of her, and we couldn’t be any happier to have her in our club.





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