What It Is

This is a story about a bee, named Buzz. She flies about all day, stopping to visit with friends and really loves her life. Until one day, she sees an article torn from a newspaper that says “bees can’t fly.” While she was able to read only a portion of the article, it was all she needed to read before losing her confidence and ability to fly. Her friend Snail unsuccessfully tries to cheer her up. That evening, the pair smelled smoke coming from Old Owl’s tree. Old Owl is a very sound sleeper and appeared to be in serious danger. Since Snail cannot fly up to warn Old Owl, his only hope is Buzz. Putting mind over matter, she is able to fly up and into the tree and wake up Old Owl. The two fly to safety, with Buzz’s confidence back intact.

Why It’s Fun

Vincent Nguyen’s beautiful illustrations instantly attract an audience like a bee to something sweet. The colors are vibrant and bring Buzz’s world alive on pages that are beautiful to flip through again and again. We reviewed Eileen Spinelli’s Princess Pig early last year and loved it. Unfortunately, this follow-up title isn’t as enchanting. Buzz has the potential to be a sweet character to whom kids can become attached, but the story is a bit too quick and doesn’t give listeners much substance to grab onto. The message is also mixed — somewhat about confidence and somewhat about friendship — but it never solidifies into something meaningful.

Who’s Going To Love It

If nothing else, this is a gorgeous picture book that’s worth borrowing from the library. (If you like Vincent Nguyen’s illustrations, check out Jungle Bullies by Steven Kroll.) The story line is most suitable for the very younger end of the publisher’s recommended age range, as it left my 6-year-old with a “that’s it?” feeling.

Reading Time

About 2-3 minutes

Read-It-Again Points

5 out of 10

Book Information

By: Eileen Spinelli; Illustrated by Vincent Nguyen
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2010)
Approximate retail price: $15.99
Publisher’s recommended ages: 4 - 8


What do you think about Buzz?

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