I am NOT a big fan of bees. Oh no, not at all. I can tolerate them a bit more than wasps (urgghh), but I still avoid bees as much as I can. But when I saw this book at the library I just couldn’t resist taking it with me and reading it. And boy, it was so much fun. Sure, at times I was shivering a bit due to the giant wasps, bees, and moths (and I definitely wanted to shut the book), but I soldiered on as I wanted to know more about this boy, his power, and his bees, his hive.
Meet Melvin, or Bee Boy as he will be known (and sadly, not always in a nice way). Melvin lives in Meadow Tower and on top of his flat building there is a hive. A hive left there by a dear friend of his. A hive that is now Melvin’s to take care of. And take care of he does. He is absolutely amazing, he has his own outfit, he cleans up for his hive, and is very knowledgeable.
While he is an awesome little fella, sadly his school isn’t as supportive. His teacher is a total warthog, the children in school are also not that nice (especially a boy named Norman Crudwell). Due to an unfortunate event in the morning he is now called Bee Boy, and sadly not in the nice way. But Melvin is soldiering on with his hive and I loved his strength. I am sure that at times he wanted nothing more than to just hide in his bed and not come out, but instead he went to his hive.
I loved it when Melvin discovered his powers (though I am still unsure if the little dude wasn’t just high because of all the smoke, especially since we never hear Priti about it and she must, despite the smoke, have seen something). He can now enter the hive and talk to his bees. And they love him. He is immediately accepted. I just adored his relationship with Bee 33137, they really got to be the best of friends.
I loved how he helped them out with all sorts of things, for instance the death moth, as he wasn’t under the influence of the lure.
I am also very happy with Melvin’s mom who supports her son the best way she can. By listening, but also by helping him make a leaflet about the hive, and then a subsequent meeting (since people are apparently too dumb to understand leaflets).
Priti. Well, at first I wasn’t sure if I would like her. We see her through Melvin’s eyes, and we see that she was doing some things that seemed to be aimed at Melvin. Thankfully, she turned out to be sweet girl with a big love of bees.
The ending was just the best, go go Melvin! Show them how awesome you are at beekeeping.
Plus then there was that mysterious message!
The art was just amazingly fun. Oh, and I didn’t even notice it until now (probably also because I read this book when it was late), but the cover features various characters. How fun!
I also love that this book is all yellow, the best colour for a book about bees.
Bonus points to the fact that the author made a fun book about bees with a good message, we need bees to live, no bees no life. Plus we learn a lot about bees, about hives, about queens. All in a fun, playful way.
All in all, highly recommended, and I can’t wait until the next book (because, eep, there will be more).