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From the Bumble and Bee series, volume 1

by Ross Burach ; illustrated by Ross Burach

Pub Date: Dec. 26th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-338-50492-7
Publisher: Scholastic

Two bees show a frog that friendship is as sweet as honey.

In the first of three short chapters, Bumble (a bumblebee) and Bee (a honeybee) are absolutely thrilled it’s “Best Friends Picture Day.” But Froggy wishes they were somewhere else. Not even counting to three and saying “BEES!” elicits a smile as big as Bumble’s or Bee’s. Froggy just frowns. The insects devise a brilliant plan to turn Froggy’s frown upside down—literally. In the next chapter, Bumble and Bee show their compassionate sides and scare Froggy out of a bad case of the hiccups. The final chapter sees the bees showing off their “Waggle Dance” (an actual communication method among honeybees) while trying to get Froggy to follow along. With their quick pace and comic-book layout, the chapters function like miniature cartoon episodes. Burach’s well-structured, thick-outlined panels create a rhythm to each punchline—and the punny jokes just keep coming. The bees’ theatrics and infectious enthusiasm pitted against Froggy’s deadpan dryness place the trio on par with greats like Bob Shea’s Ballet Cat and Sparkles or Mo Willems’ Piggie and Gerald. The stories are told almost entirely in dialogue; color-coded speech bubbles (yellow for Bee, green for Froggy, and orange for Bumble) max out at three per panel. The bright colors, expressive characters, and attention to detail will attract multiple reads. Readers will eagerly await the future planned books in the series.


(Graphic early reader. 4-6)