February 15, 2023

Daphne's Bees: Guest review

This review was written by Grade 9 student Bronte L.
Written by Catherine Dempsey
Illustrated by Veselina Tomova
Running the Goat, Books & Broadsides
48 pp.
Ages 7-11
Daphne’s grandmother keeps honeybees, and she often lets Daphne inspect the hives. But on the morning of her 10th birthday, Daphne is treated with her very own hive, bee suit, and equipment. With the help of her dad and grandmother, Daphne builds her hive, and starts a new colony. She has drone bees, worker bees, and most importantly, a queen bee! Grandma teaches her all about their different jobs, how to maintain the hives, and their life cycles.
Daphne was so excited. Now she knew for sure that her queen had hatched, and was laying eggs. She also knew the bees were gathering pollen and nectar. The bits of pollen were the little bright colours and the nectar was the juice from the flowers that would become honey.
From Daphne's Bees by Catherine Dempsey, illus. by Veselina Tomova
Daphne soon discovers that keeping bees isn’t all flowers and honey. Bees are protective of their queen, and, if they think they’re under attack, they aren’t afraid to sting the intruder and die in the process. There are also wasps to worry about. Wasps are like pirates, flying around in search of new or vulnerable hives, looking to steal their honey. However, Daphne is protective of her hive, just like the worker bees, and makes sure that nothing is going to happen to it on her watch.
From Daphne's Bees by Catherine Dempsey, illus. by Veselina Tomova
Daphne’s Bees by Newfoundland author Catherine Dempsey and illustrator Veselina Tomova tells the story of Daphne, her hive, and everything she learns along the way to becoming a beekeeper. The book has loads of information, especially for a picture book, and could be enjoyed by kids from kindergarten to Grade 6. The book includes a glossary, background information, and plenty of puns. It’s a great book to build kids’ appreciation for honeybees.

Daphne’s Bees is an essential book for students learning about nature and the importance of pollinators. It’s informative and fun, and includes a lighthearted story with painted illustrations. The little bees and flowers look realistic, and you can tell that the illustrations are actual paintings, with their pencil outlines, canvas texture, and thick paint strokes.
From Daphne's Bees by Catherine Dempsey, illus. by Veselina Tomova
My grandfather used to keep bees, and I know that if I had read this book several years ago I would’ve immediately wanted to help him take care of his hives!

~ Bronte L., Grade 9

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that you enjoyed Daphne's Bees, Bronte! It gave me a lot of pleasure to write it, and to work with Veselina for the illustrations. Having you like it (not just my mother) is like getting an extra Valentine's gift!