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Clan Apis Paperback – January, 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Paperback, January, 2000
$9.63 $4.83
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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 an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Active Synapse; 2 edition (January 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 096772550X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967725505
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By M. Ahrens on October 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have got to come up with a better sell on this book than........it's a graphic novel........about bees.
You follow our heroine through her amazing development as an organism, and as a person. (ahem, sorry..a bee) The plot twists, turns, does loop-de-loops. The characters mature and show a surprising depth of emotion. Each bee is unique in appearance and deed, without being "cartoony"....they could be illustrations in a textbook as far as authenticity goes....and yet they show emotions.
There are points where you'll laugh, and points where you'll cry, and at times you'll want to cheer out loud. (I did)
What an amazing book. You are totally entertained, and yes you also learn something...but for me that was a distant second.
Waaaaayyyyy cool.
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Format: Paperback
The first duty of a graphic novel, obviously, is to entertain. Hosler, who has a Ph.D. and specializes in neuroscience and bees, not tells a really good story about life and personalities in the hive, and is a very talented artist besides, he also manages to cram in a great deal of educational information. Icing on the cake. He starts with the birth and transformation from larva to pupa to adult of Nyuki (Japanese for "bee"), a worker who often annoys her colleague, even her older sister, Dvorah (Hebrew for "bee," etc.). She gets lost, is almost eaten, befriends a flower named Bloomington and a dung beetle named Sisyphus, finally gets her act together (though she has to be coaxed to leave the hive again for the dangers of the outside world), and goes on to better things -- as well as a rather poetic end. The anthropomorphization is actually pretty minor, all things considered. And there's an interesting postscript about what happened when the author turned out to be allergic to bee stings. I don't know if Hosler has another insect adventure in him, but I'll be on the look-out.
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Format: Paperback
Jay Hosler's Clan Apis is a rather brilliantly executed graphic novel format presentation of life in the beehive. Accurate, informative, totally engaging, the biology and life cycle of the bee is laid out with an anthropomorphic storytelling that is as fun as it is educational. Clan Apis is highly recommended reading for all ages -- especially for those who thought the life and world of the bee might just have some relevance for we mere humans living in our post-industrial, information age.
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Format: Paperback
Other reviewers have already mentioned that this book: (1) tells an emotionally deep and action-packed and delightful story (suitable for adults and children), (2) includes a great amount of scientific information, and (3) includes outstanding drawings. The only thing I can add is that the book is the most amazing and perfect combination of story and science education I have yet managed to find in a book. The story's emotional depth and impact is comparable to that found in the best children's stories that I remember, e.g., Charlotte's Web. (In other words, the story can make an adult cry, in a good sense.) And the science subject's coverage (just right) and focus and presentation are as good as the best found in any knowledge-wrapped-in-fiction book that I've read, e.g., Russell Stannard's super Black Holes and Uncle Albert.

Clan Apis is incredible. Every other knowledge-wrapped-in-fiction book I've read seems in comparison to have a far, far more pedestrian story. For example, the following books with good or at least decent science/knowledge instruction cannot meet Clan Apis's super-high standard for a first-class story: George Gamow's science-awesome "Mr. Thompkins in Paperback" (not the Stannard-updated abomination "New World of Mr. Thompkins" (bad)); Stannard's science-awesome "Uncle Albert" books; the "Magic Treehouse" books; the "Magic School Bus" books; Stephen Hawking's (and daughter's) uneven but exciting "George's Secret Key to the Universe" book; and Hosler's own "Sandwalk Adventures" book (which I didn't like much, I forget why not). Fellow reviewers or comment writers, please share with us any other good knowledge-wrapped-in-fiction books (or movies/shows) that you know about. Thanks!
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Format: Paperback
This absolutely delightful graphic novel is appropriate for readers age 9 and older, and for younger children as a read-aloud. Adults will enjoy it too. Jay Hosler's snappy black-and-white drawings follow worker bee Nyuki from bratty larva through the end of her life, in a series of fast-paced and true-to-life adventures. Clan Apis is packed with fascinating information on bee physiology and hive life but it's never didactic. A great book for the "reluctant reader" child, who will be drawn in by the rolling-on-the-floor-laughing humor and the sharp characterizations (betcha didn't know bees have personalities - do they ever!) Thinking of a child's birthday present or a school library donation? This is the book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, this book is entertaining and educational, but it is also surprisingly moving. Hosler is able to convey fear, joy, enthusiasm, and anxiety on faces that don't have traditional eyes and usually have no mouths! Beyond the biology, the stories the bees tell themselves about their origins, their role in the cosmos, and where they go after death all have the flavor of great myth. After reading this, you'll never look at a dead bee quite the same way again!
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