Horsefly and Honeybee

Randy Cecil, Author
Randy Cecil. Holt, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9300-1
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Horsefly and Honeybee meet inauspiciously, when the petite yellow bee invades an orange daylily occupied by the larger fly. "They had a fight. It wasn't pretty. Horsefly lost a wing. Honeybee lost a wing, too." They march off in opposite directions, only to be captured by a bullfrog. (He catches insects with his fingers rather than his tongue, thus prolonging the suspense.) The rivals squat miserably on a lily pad while the frog collects more food, but soon discover that their survival depends upon cooperation. Cecil (Brontorina) creates striking oil-on-paper images; his cartoonish characters escape the leathery green lily pad, with its fuchsia and violet blooms, for crystalline blue skies and a shared home in an orange flower bud. He concludes with an epilogue from Luciano De Crescenzo: "We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another." While the fate of real-life insects dismembered in such a way would be decidedly less rosy, the charm with which the book's message is delivered should keep readers from dwelling on such unpleasantness. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
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