Wednesday, March 21, 2018

"The King of Bees" - a bookwrap



by Lester L. Laminack ; illustrated by Jim LaMarche
Age Range: 6 - 8

Unwrapping some gorgeous illustrations 

About the book

This is a delightful tale of caring, taking responsibility, and bee conservation.  

Henry lives in South Carolina Lowcountry with his aunt Lilla.  She owns a small farm and sustains it by selling honey and eggs.  She dons her protective bee suit, with a hat that has a net to protect her face from stings, and goes out to check on her bees' activies. She allows Henry to tote the smoker which is needed to calm the bees while she checks the bee hive boxes for any accumulation of their sweet honey.

She directs Henry to stay a good way back and sit on a stump while she tends to the bee sanctuary.  She talks to the sister bees in a quiet, encouraging voice and explains to her little nephew all about bee behaviours and their habits.  He listens very closely because Henry is fascinated with these magnificent busy, buzzing insects. 

Although he knows he is yet too small to handle the bees himself he decides to sneak away one day and encounter the bees all on his own during swarm season.  He attires himself with his aunt's oversized beekeeping suit and accidentally spills  a bottle of "bee drops"down the front.  The fragrance of these special drops attract a swarm of bees to Henry.  They eagerly follow him home intoxicated by the the smell.  Oh my! 

Will Henry escape unharmed?  How will these bees be returned to their rightful bee hive boxes?  Luckily his aunt Lilla who is a seasoned apiarist saves the day.  

The water-colour and ink illustrations are truly gorgeous.  They are so realistic and the colour pallet is soft and inviting.  They are so beautiful that they could stand all on their own but when added to the text together they make an enriched dynamic duo.  

The story is educational and kids will love to learn how bees are harboured, protected and vital to our world's ecosystem.    I highly recommend this book. 

Storywraps Rating- 5 HUGS!!!!!

About the author

Lester L. Laminack is a specialist in children’s literacy and professor emeritus at Western Carolina University. Laminack has written numerous books and articles for educators and is a familiar speaker at professional meetings and reading associations nationwide. He lives in North Carolina.

About the illustrator

Jim LaMarche is one of the most talented artists working in children's books today. His many successful books include Rainbabies and Albert, which was selected as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. He lives in California.

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