Bee and me by Alison Jay
Old Barn Books 2016. ISBN 9781910646052
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Bees. Wordless picture book. Environment. A wordless picture book which shows the significance of bees in our cities through a young girl reviving a bee she finds in her apartment.
When the bee flies into her apartment high above the city streets she revives it with sugary water then reads all she can about bees, to ensure that it survives. This happened to the author, Alison Jay, and she uses this event to begin her picture book, but from there she has her heroine and the bee begin a fantastic journey. Together the two fly out over the city and its surrounding parks and gardens, eventually alighting in a meadow where the bee cavorts in the flowers. The girl sees what the bee really likes and makes a windowsill garden in her apartment. The boy in the flat above looks down at what she is doing and the two share the garden, attracting lot of bees.
This is a beautifully understated book encouraging children to use their eyes and see the insect world about them, encouraging them to see the relationship between these and the environment. The magnificent pictures are full of life, colour and detail, and encourage children to look closely at what is going on. The deceptive simplicity encourages deeper thought by the reader, while the unusual nostalgic feel of the illustrations creates a magical undertone.