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Bee Boy: Curse of the Vampire Mites

Authored by Tony De Saulles
Illustrated by Tony De Saulles
Published by Oxford University Press

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Bee Boy: Curse of the Vampire Mites is written by Tony De Saulles. When Melvin is surrounded by smoke while calming down his bees, he changes into Bee Boy and finds he needs to help save his hive– un-bee-lievable!

The Pollination Pickle is in full swing. Mrs Sweed, the school cook, is having to experiment with low-cost food that doesn’t rely on bees to pollinate it and the price of honey has soared to £50 a jar. Melvin Meadly (AKA Bee Boy) and the school Bee Club are doing all they can to raise awareness and protect their hives from Vampire Mites. Then beekeepers and their beehives start to disappear at the same time, that a new restaurant ‘The Tunnel House Café’ is expanding – is there a link and can Bee Boy save the day…and the bees?

The book is a humorous read and told through a combination of prose and graphic illustration which is printed in yellow and black (bee colours of course.) I loved the use of speech bubbles and detailed pictures, including great point of view angles to help you imagine what it would be like to be transformed into a bee. As a result, at times, I had to reread the page a couple of times to get all the information! I enjoyed the characters such as DI Meadly, Pritti and Mr Jolly, who helped create some great slapstick moments.

As well as entertaining the reader, it also delivers some serious messages about looking after bees and how important they are to us humans in terms of pollination; and I felt myself considering this aspect carefully when I had finished the story.

Bee Boy: Curse of the Vampire Mites would work as a class novel (although you would need a visualiser to share the graphic aspects of the book) or a group reader and would fit well into a topic about the natural world or conservation. It would also be a great book to have on the classroom shelf and it won’t BEE long until I read the others in the series…