Mr. Bumble

Kim Kennedy, Author, Doug Kennedy, Illustrator
Kim Kennedy, Author, Doug Kennedy, Illustrator Hyperion Books $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7868-0263-0
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-7868-2293-5
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7868-1353-7
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A Victorian sensibility lends an air of enchantment to this story of a fumbling bumblebee. Mr. Bumble, with his tiny blue wings and Tweedle-Dum torso, is stouter than his fellow bees, and the hive is abuzz with jokes about his clumsy flying. On a mission to a clover patch (whose location is plotted on an appealing treasure map), Mr. Bumble lags behind his pollen-gathering peers. Luckily, in a particularly klutzy moment, he finds himself surrounded by round-bellied fairies, who take him under their wings and teach him to soar gracefully. Kim and Doug Kennedy (Napoleon), a sister and brother team from Louisiana, here create fantasy situations that evoke 19th-century fairy stories. Doug Kennedy's delicate acrylic paintings have the spirit of early animation with a touch of Oz: the bees, fairies and thin-stemmed flowers have human faces, and the dome of the beehive holds the Queen's golden throne room (lit by fireflies). Mr. Bumble's triumph is a given, but small details, like the fairies' book on flying in spirals and figure eights, add uncommon interest. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
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