August 11, 2017

Bee & Me by Alison Jay

At first glance, Bee & Me seemed like just a cute story about a little girl who befriends a bee but it becomes much more than that as the story progresses. This is a wordless picture book and I usually don't review these types of books because they typically appeal to only the youngest of readers however, this title deserves a broader audience. Because there is an absence of words, the illustrations have to be much more effective for the story to be good; a difficult feat to achieve. The last time I thoroughly enjoyed a picture book was with Raymond Briggs': The Snowman. The tenderness and magic in that story is lasting with no words needed. Bee & Me produces a similar feel but with an environmental message.

Bee & Me begins with a city scene where a young girl meets a little bee that has entered her room through an open window. She first tries to swat it and ultimately catches it inside an inverted glass. It begins to die and the girl decides to nurse it back to health. Rejuvenated, the bee is released but returns to her window one stormy day and they begin to develop a friendship. One of the best illustrations in this book is the spread showing how the two new friends spend time together while the bee keeps growing larger and larger. After some time, the bee longs to be out in the wild again and with the little girl riding on the bees back they visit flower fields to collect pollen to disperse above the city.

On the last page there is information on bees and their role in the growth of plants and flowers with emphasis to readers living in the city. Included also is a list of flowers and herbs that bees like best. This book is highly recommended for the classroom as it encourages world preservation and catch and release. Recommended for ages 3+.

Amazon | Book Depository
Candlewick Press 2017
Hardcover 32p
9.9" x 9.9"
Bee & Me Cover Alison JayBee wants to go back into the wild

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