King Solomon and the Bee

Dalia Hardof Renberg, Author, Ruth Heller, Illustrator, Ruth Heller, Photographer HarperCollins Publishers $15 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-022899-6
In Renberg's ( The Complete Family Guide to Jewish Holidays ) adaptation of a tale recorded by folklorist and storyteller Hayyam Nahman Bialik (1873-1934), a bee mistakes King Solomon's nose, with its ``roselike fragrance and bananalike grace,'' for a flower and accidentally stings the royal schnoz. Solomon flies into a rage, but eventually pardons the abashed bee. Humming with gratitude, the bee eventually repays the king's mercy by helping him answer the Queen of Sheba's greatest riddle; unfortunately, while Renberg makes much of the queen's conundrums, she never explains just why it is so important for Solomon to solve them, and her narrative, accordingly, loses its oomph. Heller ( The Korean Cinderella ; Chickens Aren't the Only Ones ) populates her illustrations with beautifully delineated, jewel-toned flora and fauna as well as an assortment of bijoux bugs. Period costumes supply atmosphere, and the overall ambiance is indeed of a land of milk and honey. Ages 4-8. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-56656-815-9
Hardcover - 978-0-06-022902-3
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