'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Review: Just One Bee

This is a beautifully crafted book, written by Margrete Lamond and Anthony Bertini, with haunting and whimsical illustrations by Christopher Nielsen. 
It tells the story of One- Bee, alone in a desolate landscape, lonely and forgotten. Nielsen's illustrations sensitively depict the bleak state the land is in, underscoring the enormity of One-Bee's task.

But she nevertheless dreams of how beautiful it could be, of a field bursting with flowers where there is only heat and dust. 

She knows it is attainable. But how?

One-Bee navigates this world, until she comes across Other-Bee. One-Bee is delighted. Other-Bee, a grumpy, irritable and pessimistic creature, does not share One-Bee's vision and rejects her unapologetically.

Their voices see-saw between optimism and pessimism, hope and despair.

But One-Bee knows that she needs to be persistent and drive the changes that she wants to see.

This is a powerful book about the importance of having a vision and the resilience to persist in the face of enormous obstacles. For a review of Bertini's other work, see here and of  Nielsen's other work see here.

At forty pages, it is slightly longer than most picture books, but I see this as a bonus. It is an important addition to any reader's collection, with its important message of persistence in the face of the overwhelming challenges of climate change. 

Teacher's notes are available.

Title: Just One Bee
Author: Margrete Lamond and Anthony Bertini
Illustrator: Christopher Nielsen
Publisher: Dirt Lane Press, $24.99
Publication Date: May 2021
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780648023890
For ages: 4 years +
Type: Picture Book