In the beginning, there was the World Flower, spouting planets and stars into existence like pollen. On one of these planets (Earth) is the hive in which we find ourselves. In it, Dvorah is capping the cell of young larva Nyuki, who is scared of metamorphosis and what the rest of life will mean for her. After metamorphosis, Nyuki emerges as an adult bee but is rather scared of the outside world. That is going to work out poorly because there is a new queen in the colony, which means the old queen must lead some of the colony away to a new site. Dvorah is going, and Nyuki must decide. It turns out, Nyuki loves flying, but there are many perils of the outside world, including praying mantis, spiders, and birds! As Nyuki grows up, she finds a special flower with the best nectar and helps cross-pollinate it with a flower across the field. Nyuki inspires a younger forager, Melissa, to become a great forager for the colony.
To begin, I don’t like bees. I enjoy what bees do and appreciate that we wouldn’t be able to eat without them. However, they scare me despite constant reminders that they aren’t out to sting me. That being said, I found myself thoroughly enjoying this story. This was a wonderful graphic novel with a lot of hidden science facts. I learned so much about the evolution of a bee and the life of a colony, and the many predators who are out to make a bee into a snack. There were some really emotional moments as well, despite it being a story that young readers would enjoy. The author was successful in getting me to care about Dvorah and Nyuki, and a little bit Melissa, so their story was touching. The first chapter of this review copy was in color, and it was absolutely stunning. I missed the color initially when the illustrations were just black and white, but within a few pages, I didn’t miss the colors and I enjoyed the illustrations for the details, different line weights, and beautiful expression of the world of these bees.
Sara’s Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 4-8
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Graphic Literature, Animals, Science,
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