A stunning read highlighting family loyalty and the environment
Set in a future Australia in a time when there are no bees and children are employed to scramble through the fruit trees with feather wands, much like the pear farmers of Hanyuan in China are forced to do today. Peony wants to be a bee, a hand pollinator: she's light, she's fast, and even though she's a year too young, she's going to be the best bee the farm has ever seen!
Bren MacDibble was raised on farms all over New Zealand, so is an expert about being a kid on the land. She has lived in Whanganui, Hawkes Bay, Waikato, Tauranga, Frankfurt, London, Auckland and Sydney before finally stopping off in Melbourne for 20 years where she has lived with her family and cheeky dog. She works with gifted children, and teaches writing in further education.
How to Bee is Bren's first children's novel to be available in the UK. She was inspired after seeing an article in the Huffington Post with the haunting pictures of human "bees" up in the pear trees in the Sichuan, hand-pollinating each blossom. Bren has always been interested in food security and the treatment of farmers and land, and poverty traps, so these factors came together in a perfect storm of ideas. And How to Bee was born.
In Australia How to Bee has been shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year (winner yet to be announced), Queensland Literary Prize, a South Australian Festival Literary Prize, an Aurealis Award and a Ditmar Award.
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