POP'S Kate Bush is not the only character to have disappeared from the public eye leaving only mystery and a sense of loss among her many fans.

Like KB, whose triumphant return to live performance last week after 35 years has seen an upsurge in interest in her work as her albums storm up the charts, KM is also reappearing after a long absence.

We're talking about Katie Morag, of course, the red-haired free spirit from the fictional Hebridean island of Struay who is to appear in a new story, the first about the children's picture book heroine for seven years.

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For her young fans, the wait for a new Katie Morag book must seem like as long as that endured by Kate Bush fans for her tour.

Mairi Hedderwick's Katie and her feisty fellow islanders have delighted children for decades now, while remaining delightfully modern.

Highlights of previous books have included a tractor-driving, welly-wearing granny, the unfussy depiction of breast-feeding and surprisingly accessible perspectives on the threat of progress, like Struay's new pier.

So welcome back, Katie Morag. KB's return may have been a Wow, but KM's is sure to be "fabbydoo".