Sarah's Stars

Jay Hosler. Clan Apis
Active Synapse  $23.00  ISBN 0-9677255-0-X  150 pg.
Reviewed by Meghan, Age 14

Eventually, the insects comprised over half of all the animals on the planet. They were a diverse group. Most were solitary, but a few found that they had better success surviving if they worked together. Among these social insects, there was one clan that cared for the children of the World Flower in exchange for nectar and pollen. This is the story of that clan of honey bees. This is the story of CLAN APIS.

Clan Apis follows the life of a bee named Nyuki from the time she's born. The story begins with the myth about how the world was created. Dvorah, a young bee, narrates the tale to her younger sister Nyuki, a curious larvae that's scared of the unknown. We follow Nyuki as she emerges from her brood cell and takes her place as one of the clan. We watch as she joins the swarm, explores on her own and discovers life. With the help of her friends, Sisyphus (the dung beetle), Bloomington (the flower), Dvorah and the Queen bee, Nyuki finds her place in the world and teaches us an important lesson about life and death along the way.

It's a touching tale as well as an educational one that teaches us lots of interesting facts about honey bees and survival in the insect world. From start to finish, Clan Apis is a clever, imaginative, humorous tale about one clan of honey bees and the part they play in the world. Jay Hosler has a talent for drawing as well as story telling. His style is realistic as well as fun and the language he uses matches perfectly with the personality of the characters. The layout is crisp and clean and doesn't hinder the telling of the story.

I really enjoyed reading Clan Apis. It brings us into another world (that of the bees) and helps us to understand their purpose and way of life better. I don't know how anyone could swat at a bee after reading Clan Apis; I think you'll appreciate them too much to risk harming one! I'd recommend this book for children aged nine/ten to fourteen/fifteen. Younger kids would enjoy the insects and Nyuki's weird sense of humour, but they may not understand the whole concept surrounding one of the character's deaths. (This is really hard not to give anything away.) It's a really good book and I'd recommend boys and girls read it. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

I'd give Clan Apis five flowery stars out of five.


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