Bee-&-Me by Alison Jay
|Bee-&-Me by Alison Jay|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: An utterly brilliant picture book without a word to the story but which tells you all you need to know about the life cycle of the bee and why they are so important. There's also a strong message about friendship and how it's found in the most unlikely of places. We can't recommend this book highly enough.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: April 2016|
|Publisher: Old Barn Books|
|External links: Author's website|
I've fallen in love with a bee.
In a very busy city a rather annoying bee frightens a little girl. It's understandable because it's buzzing around and making a nuisance of itself. Initially the little girl is going to swat her (Oh, no! I hear you shout. I certainly did) but instead she traps Bee under a glass and has a good look at her. She actually seems rather frightened and tired. Girl has a look in a book about bees and makes up a sugar and water solution to revive the bee. When she's recovered Girl gently ushers her out of the window and thinks that will be the last of it. But then it starts raining. Well, actually, it's a thunderstorm and a very wet Bee appears at Girl's window, in need of care and attention. And so begins a lovely friendship.
There isn't a single word in this book but every picture speaks volumes. There's a basic underlying look at the life cycle of the bee, as it grows and then disappears over the winter, accompanied by a strong message about the need for flowers - even in cities - and the way that bees help plants to grow all over the world. This might all sound rather worthy, but it's actually a very humorous book. Girl dries Bee off with a hairdryer and a toothbrush to fluff her up and the scenes as we watch Bee growing up and doing many of the things which small children do (having a picnic, being measured against the wall, being pushed around in a pram, learning to ride a bike...) are deliciously funny. When you look at the final page of the story, have a look at Bee's head. No, I'm not going to tell you...
I did say that there are no words to this story, but there is a very useful page right at the end which gives basic facts about bees and the plants (flowers, herbs, weeds) which they like and the type of shelter which they need. There's also a very timely warning (considering the way that Bee and Girl have been holding hands) that you shouldn't try to touch or pick up a bee as they might sting.
There's another theme to this story too. It's a story about friendship and about how it can be found in the most unlikely places, about how something (someone) might seem insignificant, but can be so important.
I must have 'read' this book at least a dozen times now and I still find something new in the pictures every time I look. It's one of those books which you find yourself showing other people - and they've been as captivated as I am. As a book reviewer I can't keep many of the books which I review - I simply don't have the space for any but the most precious. Bee-&-Me is already one of them and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Another important picture book, which also joined the select band of books which I keep is Where's the Elephant? by Barroux.
You can read more book reviews or buy Bee-&-Me by Alison Jay at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Bee-&-Me by Alison Jay at Amazon.com.
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