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.)
Mr. Bumble has a rough life. While the rest of the bees in his hive gather heaps of golden pollen for their queen, Mr. Bumble always returns with the smallest amount since he is an awkward flier. When the queen announces the discovery of a distant clover patch, everyone is excited except for Mr. Bumble who worries that he will not make it on the long flight. But lucky for Mr. Bumble, the long trip is worth the difficult flight, because when he arrives he meets some creatures who change his life forever. This delightful book presents Mr. Bumble's adventures in beautiful prose and spectacular color drawings. Mr. Bumble is a role model for all of us, who have bumbled a little in our own life journeys.
K-Gr 2Mr. Bumble, the clumsiest and most cowardly bee in the hive, always returns home from work with more dents in his bucket than pollen. When the Queen sends the bees on a mission to a newly discovered clover patch, Mr. Bumble is convinced that he will be captured by nasty monsters who will pluck "out his very wings." But when he reaches the clover patch, he finds friendly fairies who teach him the tricks of graceful flight and send him back to the Queen with a full bucket and a happy heart. Most of this odd story is written in prose, but rhyming words crop up here and there, giving the text an awkward rhythm. The acrylic paintings add to the overall strangeness, featuring slightly macabre bees and fairies with pale, pointy humanlike faces and bulbous bodies. Even the flowers have ghostly faces and bulging eyes peeking out from their petals. Mr. Bumble's transformation from clumsy to graceful comes off without a hitch and may leave young readers wondering why they can't overcome their own fears and shortcomings so easily.Dawn Amsberry, Oakland Public Library, CA
A motivational tale starring "the clumsiest bee that ever buzzed." Bumbling, fumbling, tumbling, Mr. Bumble drops his freight of pollen every time, returning to his queen with a bucket full of dents. When a new clover patch is discovered, Mr. Bumble is filled with dread. What lurks within it? "Those of you who are quick and clever have nothing to fear," warns the Queen, aware of the danger to Mr. Bumble. When he makes it to the patch, he finds fairiesace flying instructors, who coach Mr. Bumble in the nuances of taking off and landing. He returns to the hive piled high with pollen and, to the applause of his hivemates, has his battered bucket retired, to become an object of inspiration for future bumblers. Both text and illustrations of this sister- and-brother collaboration maintain a lighthearted tone and sport pleasing touches, e.g., the hive is lighted by fireflies under glass. Yet it is Mr. Bumble, like the hero in M.K. Brown's Let's Go Swimming with Mr. Sillypants (1986), who steals the show, a winning dweeb with pluck and heart enough to inspire readers.