Sunday, April 16, 2023

Today's review... Who Stole the Bees' Wings? by Jeff Falyn

I'm almost passed up on taking a peek at today's read, which would have been a shame. This is a book, which packs everything from a fun story, nature facts, life lessons, and more. 

by Jeff Falyn
Illustrated by Dezla Falyn and Lyndsay Dawkins
Nature's Theater
Picture Book
36 pages
ages 4 to 8

Who would be silly enough to steal the bees’ wings?

Join a little frog and his friends on a quirky quest to find the missing wings.

“The bees are gone,” says a blue flower. “Will you help me?” Frog thinks he’s too little to help, but the animals won’t have enough food if the bees don’t buzz. Timidly, he begins the search. Along the way, Frog meets a Fox who plays practical jokes and a Know-It-Owl with a Magical Book Tree. Together, they follow the clues until they find a whole bunch of silliness in the forest.

Who Stole the Bees’ Wings? is a funny eco-fairy tale about:

Working together when nature is out of balance.

Bad things happen when you make fun of others.

Little can do BIG things.

Children 4-8 and their parents smile and giggle, reading Who Stole the Bees’ Wings? This playful bedtime story also enchants level 2 readers and up.



Creative artwork mixes with an animal adventure, a pinch of fantasy, good messages, facts about nature, and even more to create an entertaining tale in so many ways.

The flowers beg a little frog for help. The bees are no longer coming to help them pollinate, but the frog isn't sure what he can do, since he's small and...well, a simple frog. He does know that the problem is dire and heads out to find someone, who can help. To find a solution, though, isn't an easy thing.

This book packs much more than it first appears. The story is pretty adventurous for the age group (very age appropriate with just enough tension to make it fun) as the frog heads out to discover why the bees have disappeared. During his journey, he meets a few forest animals, which slips in a bit of information...especially on the predator to frogs end. But this story isn't based completely in reality, either, allowing a nice dose of fantasy to filter in, which takes quirky directions and will bring some smiles along with it. Then, there's facts about how plants, bees, worms, and animals are important in the circle of nature. Add the main message about how 'little can do big things', and several activities at the end, and it's more than just a cute read. It teaches about nature, too.

The text is a bit heavy for the youngest listeners, but then, the concepts are also better aligned with the 5 and up age group. Readers, who are more sure of their words, will be able to read this on their own. The plot is as colorful and unique as the illustrations, and I do believe kids will enjoy it...and be ready to create illustrations to their own stories. But that's after they've finished the extras at the end of the book, which not only highlight the information concerning nature, but also have several 'search' suggestions (hidden things in the illustrations) and more. 

And here they are...

Let me state this upfront; Jeff Falyn did not steal the bees’ wings. Although, he does have a long history of writing whimsical stories for young children.

At UC Davis, he ran an award-winning outdoor story program for kids 3-9. Jeff has co-written twenty-five outdoor stories (called Walking Stories) and co-created and produced four theatrical stage plays. 

Fairy tales and stories with heartfelt messages have always fascinated Jeff. His favorite movie is Wizard of Oz. Jeff’s world of wonder started at a young age in the merry old land of Oz. 

Who Stole the Bees’ Wings? is his first book in the anticipated little can do BIG series.

Dezla Falyn, at age six, drew all the characters with oil pastels. In her six-year-old creative flow, Dezla gave all the characters spiral faces – we don’t know why, but we love it! The background art also evolved from her watercolor paintings at age six.

Lyndsay Dawkins spent many years in creative development and design for the entertainment business.  

She used her expertise in graphic design and blended Dezla's characters with her creative approach to placement and backgrounds with a full pallet of color. 

Lyndsay enjoyed transforming a young child's splashy free-flowing paintings into forests, caves, and landscapes. She placed Dezla's characters (drawn with oil pastels) into their own world, and the story came to life.

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