I have been very lucky in that the Devon Beekeepers Association has reviewed my story and written some really nice words about it.
Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow by Paul Noel
“A bee story for children” – that was the description sent with Paul Noel’s book, “Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow”, and on the face of it that’s exactly what it is. A tale with an intrepid honey bee called Beatriz at its core, ready and willing to use her intelligence and super-fast flight in the battle against the enemy – those who would seek to destroy the natural habitat of the field she calls home, together with her fellow creatures that also live there.
Yet it’s more than ‘a bee story for children’, for while they will love the heroic antics of Beatriz, or ‘Bea’ to everyone who knows her, adults will find characters familiar to them too – officious bureaucrats, eager nature-loving campaigners, boffins, dastardly developers and potentially wicked planners! The turning point when all the humans and animals come together is a joyous highlight!
No doubt we’ve all heard of a field that is ripe for necessary development and Paul Noel’s fantasy is one that we can easily follow and understand. While the drama and the suspense gives joy to younger listeners and readers, it represents important issues raised by the need for more homes and the conflict between those building houses and those passionate about protecting the natural environment.
As ever with children’s books you get most out of the story by suspending your disbelief and remembering that it’s simply a story to entertain and not provide a full education of the lifecycle of the honeybee and its behaviour in the hive and in the field – there are plenty of less exciting books, which are designed to give real insight to those of us who are interested in bee facts. “Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow” doesn’t ignore general bee behaviour, but it’s full of fun and allows the imagination to take over, helped along with drawings that reflect the overall upbeat feel. The pictures are ideal for children to colour in, making it even more entertaining and better value.
Any beekeeper, indeed any adult, will not be bored if they find themselves reading the story of Bea trying to save her meadow. Just one question remains, what might Bea do next for surely “Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow” is the first of a series?