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by Gerald Kelley ; illustrated by Gerald Kelley

Pub Date: April 11th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-8075-5183-7
Publisher: Whitman

From his morning toast with honey to a last cup of tea with honey at bedtime, Benedict’s fondness for the sticky stuff defines just about everything he does.

So when the honeybees go on strike, it’s a crisis: breakfast tastes terrible, and his routine is thrown totally out of whack. A union rep holding a tiny “Strike!” sign opens negotiations. Benedict isn’t having any of it: “I let you all live in my yard. All I ask is for a few jars of honey. You should be grateful.” The bee is incredulous: “Buddy, we deliver three jars of honey to you every day. Every month! Every year! Do the math, Einstein!” The bee lists their grievances: a leaky, drafty hive and a weedy yard that forces mileslong flights to find flowers. Chagrined, Benedict does “some research…a little shopping…[and] a lot of work”; he even studies up on how to harvest the honey himself. The bee-yard now a pollinator’s paradise, the union rep calls off the strike, and life is sweet once again—“for everyone.” In his authorial debut, illustrator Kelley shows a knack for a wry turn of phrase, an effective economy with character development, and a good sense of textual pacing. The illustrations are frequently a hoot, in particular the many hovering bees holding their signs aloft as Benedict looks on in consternation, and Benedict’s transformed yard is lovely to behold.

This indeed should please the bees! (Picture book. 4-8)