Monday, 24 July 2017

How to Bee by Bren MacDibble



How to Bee by Bren MacDibble
Published May 2017 by Allen & Unwin
Source: the publisher
Rating: 5 stars

From the blurb: Peony lives with her sister and grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest, bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. All Peony really wants is to be a bee. Life on the farm is a scrabble, but there is enough to eat and a place to sleep, and there is love. Then Peony's mother arrives to take her away from everything she has ever known, and all Peony's grit and quick thinking might not be enough to keep her safe.

How to Bee is middle grade novel by debut author Bren MacDibble. The setting is a futuristic Australia where bees have become extinct - unless you believe the rumours that scientists still have some in laboratories. To counter this problem, farms are now staffed with children and the best, most agile and light-footed ones are chosen to be bees. These children climb trees and pollinate each and every flower so the trees produce fruit. Unfortunately for the farm-dwellers, most of the produce is carted away to the city where it is considered a luxury item. It's on a farm that we meet nine-year-old Peony. Peony lives with her grandfather and older sister Magnolia. Their mother lives and works in the city but returns for monthly visits. It's on one such visit that she announces she'll be taking Peony to the city with her, which derails Peony's dream to become a bee.

I fell in love with the cover of How to Bee the moment I saw it and the subject matter only further endeared this story to me. I worry about the state of the world often and, as a vegan, the future of the bee population is important to me. With the way our world is going, it's not hard to imagine Peony's version of the future, and it saddens me greatly.

I adored Peony from the moment she was introduced. She's determined, protective, and loyal. Her dream to become a bee was not only something she wanted for herself, it would provide more food for her family. Her kindness also extended to her best friend and his family.

The focus on friendship was also endearing, especially watching the relationship between Peony and Esmeralda unfold. It was admirable to see Peony help Esmeralda with her fears, even though the girls didn't get off to a great start.

How to Bee is a sad yet hopeful and heartwarming story, sure to provoke conversations between kids and parents.

Thank you to Allen & Unwin for my copy.


Cover design: Jo Hunt.

As mentioned, I love this cheerful yellow cover and couldn't wait to paint it. It's eye catching and suits the story perfectly.

You can watch me paint my nails in a video tutorial on my YouTube channel, or view the photos below.






2 comments:

  1. The book sounds like a nice read.

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  2. This book sounds lovely! Adding to the Goodreads. I like the idea of kids - only the quickest and best - are the bees, now that there are supposedly no more in the world. Haha! Also, I love the nail art for this one. <3

    Cass @ Words on Paper

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