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A poor old Bee-man must leave his beloved hives to search for his true identity in this wry, classic tale, transformed with splendid paintings by the incomparable P.J. Lynch
"But what have I been transformed from?"
"That is more than I know," said the Junior Sorcerer.
"But one thing is certain- you ought to be changed back."
When a young sorcerer appears at the Bee-man’s hut and tells him he may have been magically transformed from some other creature, the old man packs up his honeycombs and sets off to find out just what his true nature might be. Maybe he once was the arrogant master of a fair domain? Or one of the dreadful monsters beneath the black mountain? On his journey, the simple but honest old man meets up with some memorable characters: a Languid Youth in search of invigoration; a lively, boot-colored Very Imp; and a fearsome dragon about to devour a baby, a baby toward whom the Bee-man feels strangely drawn.
Brought to new life with enchanting illustrations by award-winning artist P. J. Lynch, this comic American folktale concludes with a final, satisfying twist that says much about fate, identity, and the captivating power of bees.
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Frank R. Stockton (1834-1902), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was one of the best-known humorists in America during the nineteenth century. His gifts as an author of such imaginative children’s tales as THE FLOATING PRINCE AND OTHER FAIRY TALES (1881), THE LADY OR THE TIGER? (1884), and THE BEE-MAN OF ORN AND OTHER FANCIFUL TALES (1887), have gained renewed respect in recent years.
P.J. Lynch is the illustrator of numerous best-selling picture books, including THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN TOOMEY by Susan Wojciechowski. He has twice won the Kate Greenaway Medal for outstanding illustration in children’s books and is a three-time recipient of the Christopher Award. His other books include WHEN JESSIE CAME ACROSS THE SEA by Amy Hest, and GRANDAD'S PRAYERS OF THE EARTH by Douglas Wood. The artist lives in Dublin, Ireland, with his family.
Grade 1-5--An aged Bee-man lives contentedly among his insect friends, surviving on honey and the occasional piece of meat, until the day an itinerant Junior Sorcerer informs him he's been transformed and encourages him to discover his "original form." On hearing this disturbing news, the Bee-man sets off. On his quest for his true nature, he rescues a baby from a dragon. His powerful attraction to the infant convinces him that this may be his original form and with the help of senior sorcerers he returns to his babyhood. The final scene describes a now-mature sorcerer, arriving at a small hut swarming with bees and finding, to his amazement, the once-again adult Bee-man. This delightful story about destiny, which first appeared in print in 1883, is illustrated primarily in earth tones. Sweeping vistas suffused with a long-ago-and-faraway atmosphere alternate with expressive spot art set against white backgrounds. Lynch has a talent for creating mysterious landscapes and capturing character: the befuddled, ragamuffin of a Bee-man and the "languid youth" he encounters in his travels, as well as the puerile sorcerer. The story has also been illustrated by Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins, 2003). His art, done in pastel colors and featuring a portly, heavily jowled Bee-man, highlights the humor of the tale. While readers with a philosophical bent may prefer Lynch's version, there is room on library shelves for both.--Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal
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Book Description Candlewick, 2004. Hardcover. Condition: New. Rei/DVD. Seller Inventory # DADAX0763622397
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