Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Authors: Ken and Angie Lake
Illustrators: Vishnu Madhav and Joyson Loitongbam
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
“Little toy, hear this
Let it take you back in time,
Tales of sadness or of glory,
Little toy, reveal your story.”
Robin’s grandpa casts his magic spell on the toy in Ken and Angie Lake’s story, Bertie the Bee.
Targeted toward preschool to middle school aged children, this small paperback is part of “The Diaries of Robin’s Toys” ten-book series. With no scary or violent scenes, it is ideal to be read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated words. Having different punctuation, capitalization, and spelling rules in the United Kingdom, the format may confuse American readers. Written on notebook-looking lined paper with easy-to-read font, the black and white illustrations by Madhav and Loitongbam are simplistic yet understandable.
In this charming short tale, Robin is part of the football team and notices Bruce, the coach’s son, does all the work to get the team prepared for a game. Robin forgets about the problem when he goes with his grandpa to the car boot sale (similar to a swap meet in America), where he is allowed to pick out one toy.
Robin is offered an unusual big toy bee from Jerry the Junk and purchases it for a low cost, wondering what it will say after Grandpa casts a special spell on it.
When Bertie the Bee comes alive, he tells Robin and his grandpa that he is one of a thousand types of bees. Unlike the queen or drone bees, his job is to fly from flower to flower, collecting pollen to make honey.
On his first solo flight, Bertie decides he wants to collect the most pollen of all the bees. He flies where he does not belong and gets thirsty. Drinking water from a pond, he falls in and cannot get out until a man rescues him.
Arriving late at the hive, Bertie is reprimanded that he is part of a team of bees, and their work is equally divided so no one gets hurt.
Learning from the bee, Robin realizes that teamwork is important, and he gets the players on the football team to work together and help Bruce prepare for the next game.
By teaching to work as a group, this book not only focuses on being a team, it provides information on the life of a bee that is fun and interesting. Children will enjoy reading how a toy’s story reveals engaging educational information while teaching an important lesson.
Thanks to the publisher and Bookpleasures for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.