The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy

Bumblebee Boy flies solo!

Written and Illustrated by David Soman and Jacky Davis

Bumblebee Boy has appeared in picture books before as the friend and co-conspirator of Ladybug Girl (see Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy and Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad), but finally the husband-and-wife author-illustrator team of David Soman and Jacky Davis have given him his own more boyish book, with no mention of Ladybug Girl at all. There is, however, a little toddler brother that keeps getting in the way of Bumblebee Boy’s monster-fighting and car chases. Little brother just doesn’t get it: Bumblebee Boy flies solo!

The color and design of the book is much more boy-friendly than the prior Ladybug Girl books, and the illustrations and writing style are the very same that we have come to expect from Soman and Davis. As with all their prior books, Soman’s illustrations are impeccable and get full marks from this reviewer. He has a knack for drawing simple but expressive faces that tell volumes, and in this book his visual juxtapositions of the children’s imaginative worlds and the real world are as excellent as they have ever been. The illustrations are nearly enough to tell the whole story with no text added.

The pictures and text show the authors’ great perception of child behavior, interactions, and problems. And, as always, the book waxes somewhat didactic and has a little bit of that “after-school special” feel. I feel that there is no end of appeal for these books to parents and other adults, as they illustrate childhood imagination, play and interactions so vividly and evoke vast amounts of cuteness and nostalgia. However, I wonder whether children ever feel patronized by the stories (“Mom is only reading me this story to teach me to be nice to my little brother”), or if they appreciate the relationship problem-solving that the books model so well. Maybe they teach these valuable lessons in a fun way that kids appreciate?

Review by Joshua Whiting, Granite Library Media / Educational Technology
Rating: (4 Stars)
Interest Level: Grades K-3

Also check out our review of Ladybug Girl at the Beach.

The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy
Written and Illustrated by David Soman and Jacky Davis
Dial Books for Young Readers
40 pages
Release Date: October 4, 2011
ISBN: 9780803734180 (hardcover)

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