cover image Buzz


Eileen Spinelli, illus. by Vincent Nguyen, Simon & Schuster, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-4925-1

Bumblebee Buzz has a crisis of faith when a newspaper article points out that bees, with their too-small wings and cumbersome bodies, ought not to be able to fly. The effect is immediate: the pert, doe-eyed Buzz "bobbled. And wobbled. And fell—PLIP—to the ground." She stays earthbound until fire threatens her friend Old Owl's nest; an emergency is what it takes to get her to stop thinking and trust her own experience instead. While the factoid about bee flight is an interesting bit of trivia, it's perhaps not quite substantial enough for a whole story line. Spinelli (Princess Pig) refers to Buzz's relationships with other animals, but the focus is on Buzz and her dilemma. Nguyen's (The Truly Terribly Horrible Sweater... That Grandma Knit) big oil landscapes feature inviting blue skies and warm, sunlit clouds. Buzz's face is colored yellow, but her wide eyes, pixie-cut bangs, and red lips suggest a girl dressed up in a bee costume, the better for young readers to identify with. Those in search of motivational tales need look no further. Ages 4–8. (July)