A Bear’s Guide To Beekeeping
Boldly declaring itself ‘The Only Book You Will Need to Become an Expert Beekeeper’ from the outset, this witty and engaging guide to beekeeping for bears has instant appeal. As any worthwhile guide should, it begins with Bear, our aspiring beekeeper, wielding this essential manual to find those crucial bees.
Bear moves from bee identification, to bee-catching (using a variety of highly entertaining, if somewhat flawed, methods) and on to bee etiquette, accompanied throughout by the entertaining asides from a knowing bird friend. From there, Bear stumbles somewhat on the practicalities of bee housing. The pitfalls of poor planning and a lack of DIY skills are made very clear, hurrah for pre-made hives! The guide offers comprehensive guidance on bee-care, especially the inadvisability of cuddling bees, advice well worth taking.
While the book is highly amusing, readers do learn by stealth; the bear’s mistakes are hilariously exposed in the illustrations, leaving plenty of scope for discussion of where things may have gone wrong. Real bee facts are peppered throughout, even the endpaper design incorporates snippets of information.
Pip Cornell’s long experience in picture book publishing comes through in the use of authentically styled ‘guide-speak’ while Alex G. Griffith’s illustrations perfectly underscore the comedy. The interplay of droll text and appealing illustrations work to great comedic effect and the intelligence of the audience is respected as they are in on the joke from the outset. A fun read.