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Our Lockdown Book: The Pandemic in Dunkeld’s Children’s Eyes

LISTEN: Molly Arbuthnott gets into what the book is all about and what was involved in making it

Author Molly Arbuthnott has been working with local school children from Dunkeld to share their lockdown experience in a book made up of pictures, poems and stories.

Money from the book is going to raise funds for the local church who had their part to play in reflecting on the past months with the children.

Molly Arbuthnott said: “It’s been quite a positive experience for them from what I’ve gathered, although I know this isn’t the case for everyone.

“One boy has drawn a picture of fishing with his dad, just below the bridge in Dunkeld, and another about the things they got up to during lockdown.

“And so, I think for a lot of children, having both their parents around and at home has been really nice.”

Ms Arbuthnott had already known the school well by visiting for book readings before and wanted to give the children a chance to ‘occupy themselves’ during the lockdown.

But learning from home proved to be a challenge for the ambition, so instead Ms Arbuthnott had the chance once the school children were back in class.

She said: “Lockdown itself for all of us which hopefully we won’t have to repeat again, but I felt that the experience was such that it was nice to be representing it in a positive way which could help others around us.”

The book is about giving the community a voice and supporting the community, Ms Arbuthnott explained: “I know the church was quite badly hit during the lockdown, it would be nice to support them if I could.

“I go to the cathedral quite a lot in Dunkeld and so I know the minister there quite well.

“And got in touch with him and he actually contributed a story called squeaky and titch, which is about two mice which he talks about quite a lot during his service.

“And so profits from the book are then going to be donated to the parish of Dunkeld.”

This is not her first venture into the children’s world stories either, with five children’s books already under her belt, Molly Arbuthnott says she’s found children’s writing takes her back to a world of wonder.

She said: “I feel that at five, six year’s old, which is the age I used to teach, children don’t really have inhibitions so they can read something and believe it.

“And if you read some of the stories they write, they come up with amazing ideas of fairies and castles one second and then dragons the next and there’s no certain idea of some things are right and some things are wrong.

“And I think as people become older and become more aware of their social pressures, they lose that sort of innocence and magic.

“And so, I think that’s why I quite like writing them because it keeps the magic alive.”

To find out about the experience of Dunkeld’s school pupils, you can find the book available from: http://www.mollyarbuthnott.co.uk/

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