12 June 2009


by Raymond Huber

Walker Books Australia. Junior. Paperback rrp $14.95

This is a unique animal fantasy told from the perspective of a bee. Ziggy is not an ordinary bee, although he wishes he was. He has trouble adjusting to the hierarchy of the hive. “Buzz off, Oddbee” the Sister bees taunt.

Sometimes Ziggy likes to be different and fly off exploring the fields. But more than anything he wants to know why he is that way. When the Queen sends him on a mission, his special place in the world is revealed.

During his adventures Ziggy meets wasps, wild bees, bumblebees, hybrid bees and humans. The story is action packed with lots of zigging, zagging and low flying. A subtle lesson about the biology of bees and the importance of caring for our environment is woven through the plot.

Huber has given each bee species its own unique character. I smiled to read about the bumblebees, ancient creatures living a bohemian existence in the Hummer – a place where stressed bees can go to find solace. I think I’ve met Yogi the bumblebee casually buzzing around my garden.

Interspersed throughout the story are extracts from scientist Sophie’s diary, giving another perspective to the story and providing an extra explanation for some of Ziggy’s bee - vision viewpoints.

Sting is entertaining and fun with a little accidental learning on the side. Boys particularly will relate to the science perspective and any child who likes to collect bugs or watch insects in the garden, will absolutely love this book.

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