Spring is in the air as the seasons change and a delightful garden blooms in a glorious palette of shades. Meanwhile, behind the scenes a hive of little honey bees are busying themselves with an important task…
One lonely snowdrop sitting serenely in a snowy scene alongside two crocuses sets the scene of what lies ahead – the first signs that winter is coming to an end and a colourful spring and summer awaits.
A perfect book to share, each pages showcases how nature and wildlife blend effortlessly together, inextricably intertwined as a petal lifts to reveal a woodland creature enjoying its habitat. And in every scene, the honey bees are diligently busying themselves with a labour of love
As the months go by, familiar flowers appear, like old friends, to say hello. Golden spring daffodils and tulips then make way for a delightful profusion of cherry blossom and hollyhocks before summer heralds the glory of the towering sunflower and delicate poppies. You can also smell the heady scent of the sweet summer roses!
With 25 interactive flaps to lift, this is the perfect to discover the most famous and familiar flowers of the season, as well as catching a glimpse of wildlife from foxes to deer. The book’s pleasing size and shape – an elongated 18 x 29 cm – gives ample space for lots of lovely detail to spot, like a teensy ladybird here or a honey bee playing hide-and-seek there.
There’s also plenty of opportunity to practise counting skills: as well as the flowers, there are butterflies, eggs in a bird’s nest and leaves on trees to tot up, too.
The star of the show (alongside Jane Ormes’ beautiful illustrations that are rendered from silk screen prints) is, of course, the little honey bee. She may play a supporting role at the start with just a few tell-tale stripey bottoms and wings peeping out from petals, but as the blooms increase in number so too do the number of honey bees, buzzing from one flower to the next performing their important task of pollination as they go.
This is an enchanting book that celebrates the seasons and showcases the honey bee’s labour of love, a labour that not only serves Nature through pollination, but also provides delicious honey. It is also the perfect incentive for us all to grow wild flowers to entice these industrious little creatures into our lives too!
Fun fact Bees are the only insect in the world that make food that people can eat. Honey contains all of the substances needed to sustain life, including enzymes, water, minerals and vitamins. It is the only food to contain ‘pinocembrin’, an antioxidant that improves brain function so honey can help make you smarter.
Did you know? A colony of bees can contain between 20,000 and 60,000 bees, but only one queen bee. The average worker bee lives for just five to six weeks. During this time, she’ll produce around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey. The queen can live up to five years. She is busiest in the summer months, when she can lay up to 2,500 eggs a day.
*** What’s it like being a little bee in a big world? *** Read our review of Maya The Bee, out in cinemas now.
Author notes Jane Ormes is a contemporary printmaker whose screen prints present her reflection of the world. She produces playful, colourful images, often involving animals in absurd situations (she likes to think these creatures have a secret life that we know nothing about). Drawing, patterns and textures are all integral to Jane’s work and reflect her design background. She enjoys using large areas of flat bold colour which can be achieved by the screen printing process. Jane lives in Briston, England.