Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Bee Man of Orn

Occasionally I come across a reference to a children’s or a young adult book that I must pursue. It might be a catalog or a review in the Sunday newspaper. I’ve been known to leaf through The Horn Book (magazine which reviews children's and young adult books) in the library or scan the shelves in the children’s section. “Mommy, what’s that old man doing where our books are?” Not so strange, though. In the dim recesses of time I was an elementary school librarian, then moved to junior high, skipped high school and became a community college librarian, before becoming a director of a community college library.

Anyway, I came across a review of The Bee Man of Orn by Frank R. Stockton with illustration by P.J. Lynch. (Candlewick Press, 2003.) Stockton is the fellow who wrote “The Lady or the Tiger?” which kept all of my class baffled when I was in the eighth grade. " didn’t tell which door was chosen." Anyway, I had not read the Bee Man previously and the story is quite entertaining as well as enlightening. But it’s the illustrations that make this oversized book. They are wonderful. Lynch uses a medieval setting. His illustrations of the bee man, the imp, the languid youth, the dragon are excellent. This story has also been illustrated by Maurice Sendak, whose style has been touted often enough. But not for this story, imho. Check this out. See if your local library has it or can get it. It’s worth a half-hour’s perusal. And you get a moral ending, sort of.


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