A little boy who loves the bees that visit his garden becomes concerned when rain and then snow drive them away.
The unnamed boy loves flowers and trees, “but most of all, he love[s] the bees.” He keeps a bumblebee diary, naming each bee and describing it (Amir “likes pink flowers”; Bob is “very fuzzy”; Seb “loves dancing”). He is distressed when it rains and the bees “los[e] their bumble.” He dresses in a giant bee suit and opens a “bee hotel” with “free Wi-Fi” to lure them back, to no avail. It’s even worse when the snows come, and he is stuck inside. His devotion to the insects is evident in his pictures on the wall and his bee-focused library. Happily, when spring comes, the bees return, and the boy “[gets] his bumble back.” Esberger’s forms resemble Oliver Jeffers’ in their childlike appearance, and her sunny palette modulates to gray when the rain drives the bees away. As stories go, it’s rather slight and potentially confusing: Surely rainy days alternate with sunny ones before winter comes, but the storyline compresses seasons drastically. Still, the boy is a sweetly likable character, and his strength of focus is entirely believable. An appendix provides bumblebee facts, including the importance of bees to pollination and threats to bees.
Children are often afraid of bees; this unassuming book may well soothe those fears effectively. (Picture book. 3-5)