The Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen

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The Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen

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Buy The Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A delightful, buzzy story, with a plump little bear and the sweetest bees around!
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 32 Date: May 2016
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781780080154

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Ever a sucker for a book about a bear, this one has fast become a favourite for me. Norman is an ordinary kind of bear, small and cuddly and a big fan of honey. He is such a big fan, in fact, that he comes up with a cunning plan in order to make his honey hunting much easier. He decides to dress up as a bee (a giant bee, from Giant Bee Land, obviously) and join Bee School where he has the most marvellous time learning about things like buzzing and finding smelly flowers. However, although most of the bees are convinced of his bee-ness, there is one rather clever little bee who grows increasingly suspicious of poor Norman…

This is a delightful story that managed to tick all my happy boxes! The story itself is lovely, and very easy to understand for younger listeners. Norman has so much fun at bee school, but clever Amelia Bee is having none of it, and she manages to prove that Norman is actually a bear by taking him down to the secret honey stores where poor Norman just can’t control himself in the face of so much delicious honey! Norman gets thrown out of Bee school, but once he’s gone the bees find they miss his happy presence, and when they are attacked by a huge, ferocious bear they need Norman to rescue them. Good old Norman is a hero, and he’s accepted back into Bee school when he is given the title of Bumblebear. I liked the language used throughout the book, with words like '’diabolical’’ and phrases like '’what the jiggins.’’ It’s enjoyable to read aloud, and there are lots of opportunities for bee noises and bear noises, should that sort of thing please you!

As well as having a good story, the illustrations really make everything perfect. Norman is adorable with his big round eyes and his sweet bee costume. His expressions are easy to understand, and the picture of him sitting crying on a rock after he’s been expelled from Bee school is really very moving! Meanwhile, the bees are also rather cute and I spent quite some time just looking through at all the different things they’re getting up to in the illustrations. Amelia Bee is easy to spot since she has large red-rimmed glasses, but I also liked the small bee who is trying to play with a yo-yo, the bee with a scooter, and (my favourite) the bee eating a packet of crisps! The pictures vary from smaller illustrations of scenes to larger, full-page pictures, and they are all very colourful and busy and interesting to look at.

All in all this is a lovely story to read and share with toddlers through to younger school children, although I also found my nine year old having a giggle reading it by herself!

Further reading suggestion: You might also like to try another story by the same author, Good Little Wolf or if you’d like another book about bees then take a look here Bee-&-Me by Alison Jay.

Buy The Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen at Amazon.com.

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