Thursday, 22 December 2016

Post 449 - My First Book Review - The Voyage of the Queen Bee

Hey everyone, today's post is Post 449 and two people that I've known for quite a long time are Carl Mynott and Tim Gardiner. I've known them pretty much since I started this blog two years ago now so they've been in touch with me for quite a long time. As you'll know from my blog I obviously love writing but also, something I've never expressed on my blog is my love of reading. So, obviously I LOVE reading about nature. So, guess what happened? Tim decided to write a book about bees, one of my favourite insects, and Carl has illustrated it. All the profits (I think) from their book go to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. This is a charity which I really love and support so I'm glad to see such a lovely fundraiser for them.

Tim very kindly asked me to review the book before it goes out. It's the first time I've been asked to review anything and it's quite an honour, but also quite fun! So if anyone else has a book they need reviewing then, I'm available ;)

It's an amazing book. It's aimed at 5-8 year olds but I still really enjoyed it and the story line of it is really good for the length of book it is. Anyway, let's get on with the review:

A Bumblebee feeding on a dandelion
The Voyage of the Queen Bee is a book aimed for 5-8 year olds. Several of the words in this book would be challenging for children of this age and would grow their vocabulary considerably. For example, there's words such as 'misleading' and 'bedraggled' (great word!). There was one word in the book that I didn't understand 'ramparts', the defensive wall of a castle. This is quite strange as I've spent a lot of time at castles! The main story of the book is about a Bumblebee called Blossom who's species feed primarily on Golden Hay Rattle plants. Blossom is heading over to the 'Secret Meadow' (where these plants grow) only to find that the plants had be mown down. She rushes back to the nest to tell the Queen, who tells Blossom to find some new Hay Rattle plants in the Golden Meadow on the other side of the Spartina Sea. The one problem is she has no way to get over there. She goes down to the shore to try and find a way over to find 'Captain Cricket', a pirate cricket who travels the seas with his Stick Insect 'Phas'. They make a deal and travel over to the other side of the sea on his newly christened boat, The 'Queen Bee'. From there they run into several different adventures trying to recover the Golden Hay Rattle seeds.

What I love about this book is how it uses some challenging words that would build anybody's vocabulary. The story is captivating (although aimed at younger ones) and I can't wait for the sequel. It really made me imagine the scenes, lovely summer meadows with bees buzzing around. If I had to change anything maybe it'd be at the start of the book, Blossom doesn't really get introduced as a bee, younger readers might not straight away realise that's what she is, so possibly there could be a bit of a pre-amble about her and then it continues with the rest of the book. But that's just my opinion!

The Golden Hay Rattle plant
(well Yellow Rattle from YWT Ripon Loop Reserve)
One of the best things about the book is that it is a very informative book. It teaches children some important things about nature and conservation, the whole quest is about restoring the bee's meadow habitat after it has been chopped down. It talks about lots of different insects and gives little bits of information about them woven into the story. At one point it says (when talking about ants) they were running as fast as their three pairs of legs could carry them which I really liked!

I have to mention the illustrations too, I love Carl's Curlews and the Crab, but they're all lovely pictures. I wish my art was as good, my teacher would be very pleased!

As well as it being a honour to review this book I've learned several things from it so I would love to have a look at the next one!

If you have young children and you want to introduce them to nature, I'd say you'd want to get this book! You can get copies from Tim's Insect Adventures Facebook page by clicking this link.

Well done Tim & Carl.

Hope you enjoyed,


No comments:

Post a Comment