Joey is a young boy who likes to watch bugs. He is sometimes called Joseph by his parents if he has done something he shouldn't have. Joey particularly likes to watch bees. One day, in spite of warnings from his parents about leaving bees their space, Joseph decides to capture a large bumble bee in a flower, which he does successfully. All's well until he tires of holding the flower closed and lets go. The ensuing events lead to a painful lesson about bees. The sting of real life continues for Joey as one untoward consequence cascades to the next, the brave, heroic efforts of Aunt Emily do not succeed, and Joseph's contagious calamity spreads to claim another victim. Comments from his sister, underscoring his failure to heed advice, add to his discomfort and embarrassment. In the end, Mom, baking soda paste and shoo fly pie help sooth the sting. Illustrated by the author with 39 pictures, with a total of 64 pages, and a recipe at the end.
Known as Joey to his mother and sister, Joseph to his aunt, and “Ba” to his younger brother, the main character of this tale by Joseph P. Myers loves bugs. His daily quest is to find ants, caterpillars, pill bugs, dragonflies, butterflies, crickets…any type of creature of the earth. All who know Joey are aware and considerate of his fascination. Until Joey decided to explore the complexities of the bumble bee. His mother warned him. His father warned him. But Joey turned a deaf ear on their concerns. Upon finding a bumble bee crawling inside a particularly colorful flower, Joey takes the opportunity to fold that bee up in the petal to research the bee’s reaction. Joey holds the bumble bee captive for quite some time before tiring of the game and releasing his hold on a now very, very angry bee. Joseph and the Bumble Bee by Joseph P. Myers is a delightful story of youthful curiosity. Set in an ethnic-diverse 1950s town, Joseph and the Bumble Bee incorporates Pennsylvania Dutch influences, making this both a fun story to read but also a lesson in cultural diversity. As a former public school teacher, I can imagine this being a lesson plan within itself. I like that the illustrations go from colorful to black and white sketches when the bee is angry about its imprisonment. This is a great example of a lesson on elemental writing. This is a perfect addition to any school classroom, library, or private collection.
The book "Joseph and the Bumble Bee: Or Be Bee Careful" will be in the Emerging Authors Tent at the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia on Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept 2.