Picture Book Reviews · Picture Books

When The Bees Buzzed Off by Lula Bell and Stephen Bennett

When The Bees Buzzed Off by Lula Bell and Stephen Bennett


Where have all the bees gone? The other insects search through the undergrowth, but they can’t find the bees anywhere. This is a terrible day for the garden. What will happen to the vegetables, flowers and supply of nice green leaves?

A lift-the-flap story which works in facts about environment change and pollination.

The threat facing our bees is tremendous, and the cost of losing them would be catastrophic, yet we don’t hear about it on a daily basis. We need to be worried, we need to act, and most of all we need to care about the consequences. This is a huge thing to say to very young readers but the story gently hints at what might happen if the bees had gone away for good while the other insects search to bring them back.

Following a happy but realistic ending, the insects work together to collect and plant wildflower seeds to bring the bees back to their garden.

The illustrations get close-up with the undergrowth. I love this insect’s-eye view of the garden, which reminds us to be curious about how much is really in an outdoor space and reminds the reader that humans aren’t the only ones who care about the garden. More alarming spreads of greying leaves and dying plants are mixed with colourful and happy habitats.

Flaps hide more creatures and creepy-crawlies. Young readers who enjoy the hunt through the book will be desperate to get outside and do it in the real world.

The journey through the undergrowth is a joy and the subject is treated with optimism and care.


Thanks to Little Tiger Press for my gifted copy of When The Bees Buzzed Off. Opinions my own.

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