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King Solomon and the Bee Paperback – January 21, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Renberg's ( The Complete Family Guide to Jewish Holidays ) adaptation of a tale recorded by folklorist and storyteller Hayyam Nahman Bialik (1873-1934), a bee mistakes King Solomon's nose, with its "roselike fragrance and bananalike grace," for a flower and accidentally stings the royal schnoz. Solomon flies into a rage, but eventually pardons the abashed bee. Humming with gratitude, the bee eventually repays the king's mercy by helping him answer the Queen of Sheba's greatest riddle; unfortunately, while Renberg makes much of the queen's conundrums, she never explains just why it is so important for Solomon to solve them, and her narrative, accordingly, loses its oomph. Heller ( The Korean Cinderella ; Chickens Aren't the Only Ones ) populates her illustrations with beautifully delineated, jewel-toned flora and fauna as well as an assortment of bijoux bugs. Period costumes supply atmosphere, and the overall ambiance is indeed of a land of milk and honey. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-In this adaptation of the traditional legend, King Solomon is not only wise, but also able to talk to animals. After being stung on the nose, he summons all manner of insects to appear before him and demands to know who dared to attack him. A small bee confesses and begs forgiveness, promising to do the king a favor later. Solomon laughs, but the bee later helps him pass a test put to him by the Queen of Sheba. Renberg bases her version on a story in Hayyim Nahman Bialik's And It Came to Pass (Hebrew Publishing, 1938; o.p.), but notes that its origins are unclear. The text is smoothly written in a direct style. Heller's realistic illustrations, full of decorative floral and architectural detail, invite browsing. Their lush colors and the interesting page composition attract and hold interest. The result is an appealing picture book.
Jane Gardner Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Crocodile Books(Inteu); 1 edition (January 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566568153
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566568159
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.2 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #665,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is a lovely story that combines a major plot element of Aesop's "The Mouse and the Lion" with a Jewish story in which a bee helps King Solomon successfully answer a question posed to him by the Queen of Sheba. This story comes from the Oral Torah and probably contains the Aesop motif by accident. (Many folktales with almost identical motifs crop up all over the world without the tellers ever having heard each others' stories.) In any case, it's a lovely story in which a bee angers the King and asks for his mercy with the promise that someday he will help him. The King laughs and lets him go but later does need his help--which the bee happily proffers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this story, King Solomon fell asleep outside and was stung on the nose by a little bee. Infuriated, King Solomon ordered all insects to come to the palace and insisted that the guilty culprit confess to the crime. Finally, a little bee admitted that he accidentally stung the monarch. King Solomon was about to execute the insect, but the bee pleaded for its life. "Maybe some day, I can do something for you." The king was amused by the idea that a little bee could ever be of use to a king as wise and lofty as King Solomon. Nevertheless, he released the bee. His nose healed, and in time the ruler forgot about the incident.

Fast forward several years later. The Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon. She wanted to test the king's famed wisdom. The queen presented five bouquets of flowers. Four of these bouquets were artificial. The queen wanted the king to look at the flowers and determine which bouquet was authentic. Suddenly, the little bee appeared at the window. King Solomon ordered a servant to open the window, and the insect made a beeline for the real flowers. King Solomon "guessed" correctly, impressing the Queen of Sheba.

The story presents lessons about kindness to animals and also the idea that there is value in many creatures. Even the smallest or weakest among us may offer some benefit. The story is a Jewish adaptation of the famous Aesop fable about the lion and the mouse. The colorful illustrations are appealing to children from preschool to grade 2. There is not too much text for little children, so the story moves quickly.

This is an old book, but the story is still worth telling.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book version of an operetta that I was part of as a child. I'm giving it as a birthday present to a friend who was in it as well. I purchased a copy for both of us. It was exactly what I was looking for.
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Format: Library Binding
An well-told tale of the kindness and wisdom of a King held dear in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions. Richly illustrated by Ruth Heller. A favorite of our children and grandchildren.
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