Lisa Doucet Reviews Catherine Dempsey’s Daphne’s Bees
Catherine Dempsey, Illustrated by Veselina Tomova
Running the Goat Books & Broadsides
Daphne’s tenth birthday is a very special day indeed. It is the day that she gets her very own bee hive!
After opening her presents (including a bee suit and a set of beekeeping tools) she gets to work building her hive. In the ensuing weeks, Daphne and her grandmother lovingly tend to the new hive with Gramma patiently explaining many things about the inner workings of the colony. Daphne eagerly watches the busy bees and when wasps threaten the hive she and Gramma are there to help. Then, as the fall months draw to a close, the two carefully prepare the hive for the coming winter.
Bursting with information, this book is a gentle story that celebrates the bond between a young girl and her grandmother, while also conveying the genuine awe and wonder the bees enkindle in both beekeepers. As Gramma guides and teaches Daphne, readers learn many things about the creation of a bee hive, the roles of the different bees and how they function, and how Daphne and Gramma are able to help protect the hive.
Veselina Tomova’s vibrantly hued and richly textured illustrations magnificently depict Daphne’s excitement as well as the intricate world of the bees and the hive. Lush and light-infused, the images bring to life the beauty of the landscape and capture a sense of quiet joy. A lovely offering that is perhaps more instructional than strict story, this book provides a fascinating introduction to would-be beekeepers.