I expect that Beans on Toast, the pop­u­lar folky fes­ti­val artist, will be ton­ing down the sweary lan­guage in his new series of chil­dren’s books. Called The Fas­ci­nat­ing Adven­tures Of Lit­tle Bee, the books will be com­ing out in time for Christ­mas, launch­ing on Decem­ber 1st, and there’s an accom­pa­ny­ing album too.

Beans on Toast – aka Jay MacAl­lis­ter – has been around the fes­ti­val cir­cuit for many years with his warm, fun­ny, folk-based mate­r­i­al. His songs con­cen­trate main­ly on mat­ters of love, pol­i­tics (no short­age of mate­r­i­al there these days), drink and sub­stance enjoyment. 

Beans has now set­tled into fam­i­ly life, which has brought about a dis­cov­ery – the plea­sure of read­ing to small chil­dren. So, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with friends, he was inspired to cre­ate a series of books for chil­dren from two to ten years old. The main char­ac­ter is Lit­tle Bee, and he has this to say about the series…

“Since becom­ing a Dad a few years back, I’ve been ful­ly immersed in kid’s books. I love them! Espe­cial­ly Julia Don­ald­son and Oliv­er Jef­fers – incred­i­ble! I feel like kid’s books are very sim­i­lar to folk songs. They’re sim­ple, to the point, with a mes­sage about being kind to the world and its peo­ple. When Jaime and Lily (old friends who I wrote THIS song about many moons ago) pre­sent­ed me with a char­ac­ter they had invent­ed, Lit­tle Bee, and asked if I had any ideas and what we could do with the char­ac­ter – I said yes  – and this project of chil­dren’s sto­ries and songs was born.” 

He adds: “It’s com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent from any­thing I’ve ever done. I wrote the words and made the songs, Lily illus­trat­ed them, and the three of us planned where Lit­tle Bee would go on their fas­ci­nat­ing adventures!”

The series takes us into the world of Lit­tle Bee. Pre­sent­ing ten unique rhyming adven­tures, each will invite you on a jour­ney to exot­ic new places, from the sea to the city, the woods to oth­er worlds, into space and back in time.

Each of the ten books arrives with its own per­fect­ly paired song, writ­ten and per­formed by Beans, from the dance­floor-ready dis­co of “To The Rain­bow” to the futur­is­tic synth-pop of “To Space”. Record­ed at Durham Sound Stu­dios with Kit­ty & Lewis Durham (of Kit­ty, Daisy & Lewis), plus Jack Flana­gan (Mys­tery Jets) and Matt Mag­ic Fin­gers, the songs will fea­ture on an accom­pa­ny­ing The Fas­ci­nat­ing Adven­tures of Lit­tle Bee com­pi­la­tion album (also out 1 December).

There are four live shows across the UK to accom­pa­ny. Expect live music, danc­ing, craft­ing and crowd par­tic­i­pa­tion. All fol­lowed by a kids’ dance par­ty. The full list of dates are:

20 Nov – EDINBURGH – Scot­tish Sto­ry­telling Cen­tre 2:30pm – 4pm
4 Dec – BRIGHTON – Kome­dia 1pm – 2:30pm
10 Dec – NOTTINGHAM – Rough Trade 1pm – 2:30pm
11 Decem­ber – LONDON  – The Clapham Grand 2pm – 4pm


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *