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Clan Apis Paperback – January 1, 2000
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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Gr. 5-7. The life cycle and natural environment of the honeybee become grist for an entomologist who is both cartoonist and storyteller. Opening with a creation myth ("Once upon a long, long time ago") and working through the biological, sociological, and ecological changes affecting the life of Nyuki the bee, the text is a combination of authoritative science; appealing, detailed black-and-white drawings; and dialogue replete with humor, pubescent angst, political sloganeering, and more. Nyuki's colony undertakes migration to a new hive, is beset by a woodpecker, and hibernates through a winter that yields to a revitalizing spring. The bees are nicely individualized, as are the plants and other insects that figure into their lives, and there are a number of clever touches. All in all, this is the sort of science book that even devoted fiction and comics readers will enjoy. Francisca Goldsmith
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Dr. Jay Hosler is an Associate Professor of Biology at Juniata College and an award-winning cartoonist who writes and draws comic books about biology and natural history. His work has been called "ingenious" (The London Times), "goofily inventive" (The New York Times), and "entertaining and slyly educational" (The Comics Journal). His works include Active Synapse classics such as Clan Apis, The Sandwalk Adventures, and Optical Allusions. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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While the relationship between humans and honeybees has existed for thousands of years, it is safe to say that the relationship between honeybees and flowers has existed since the dawn of the honeybee in sub-Saharan Africa millions of years ago . As beekeepers, it is easy to forget this link between flora and fauna as we fuss with our own hive management strategies. Thankfully, Hosler does an excellent job of bringing the evolutionary context to the fore, with an opening vignette of the creation of the universe from the honeybee's perspective--all beginning from the mother flower.
The book opens with a telling of the tale of the mother flower to the larval Nyuki*, by her sister, Dvorah.* This sets the stage for the two storylines that Hosler seamlessly interweaves through the book. The first is a story of Nyuki, a honeybee who refuses to take anything about life for granted, and her relationship to her older, wiser sister. Nyuki's life takes on familiar twists and turns that serve as a learning basis for children and a captivating story for adults. The other is more didactic; Hosler carefully plants basic facts about honey bee biology and ecology as carefully chosen lines in the story and clever images in the drawings. Like the best children's books, Clan Apis poignantly addresses some very sophisticated themes--the existence of a creator, the painful processes of adolescence, and even the inevitability of the end of life. And like the best adult books, it's informative and compelling; it stays with you long after you've turned the final page.
We offer just one warning to readers: This exceptional book can easily be devoured in a sitting, but it shouldn't be. Savor each page and Hosler's wonderful displays of skill and artistry. We are sure that at you will regret the turning of the last page, and hope that Hosler will continue to educate and entertain us with more bee adventures as much as we do.
I force this book upon everyone I know who asks any type of question about bees.