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The Bee Man Of Orn
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The Bee Man Of Orn

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  214 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.
Published (first published 1887)
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Community Reviews

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Oct 09, 2016 dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sendak's art truly ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous. This is both. The story he is illustrating, from a man writing mid-19th century satisfies. A contented misfit is told he must have been transformed, but from what? The only thing he's attracted to is his current odd life. So the quest begins. Eventually he is content to have been transformed from a baby; and so to be changed back into one. The Sorcerers are quite proud of themselves, as, of course they would be. All magic.
Apr 19, 2017 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oversize and over-long, but a good story, with pretty pictures. I would have liked to have read the edition illustrated by Sendak, though. I see that, indeed, this and other tales by Stockton are available on Project Gutenberg and I will add them to my list.
Sep 10, 2014 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kelly by: The Badgermum
The version we read was illustrated by Maurice Sendak. His drawings felt just right for the tale.

I read this in one sitting to my 3.5-year-old son. He enjoyed it very much. I liked it quite a bit, too, enough to pursue other Stockton titles at the library. We recommended it to my 9-year-old niece. I think it's just about right for her to read to herself.
Irin R.
Aug 26, 2013 Irin R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Άψογο παραμύθι και εκπληκτική εικονογράφιση! Τα λόγια είναι στ'αλήθεια περιττά :) Ένα παραμύθι ξεχωριστό, που θυμίσει τα παλιά, κλασσικά παραμύθια με μάγους και δράκους και δοκιμασίες των ηρώων, καμία σχέση με τα πωλούμενα σημερινά ξεπλύματα! 5/5 με αγάπη!
This story rambles on; both the prose and plot seem haphazardly put together. The illustrations are it's only saving grace and they are jaw-droppingly amazing.
The fabulous illustrations by P J Lynch are what make this book so attractive - hyper-real, glowing and tactile, you can almost feel the rough nubs of the combs and the sticky ooze of the honey on your fingers as you turn the pages; hear the contented subdued roaring hum of the bees...I wasn't as taken with the tale - it felt a bit rambling and overlong...but perhaps a reread would let me appreciate it better.
Stephanie Fox
Jan 23, 2017 Stephanie Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story. I got the book because I was doing research for a bee book of my own - about colony collapse disorder. This was a fun one that I found out about in another book, one by a woman who is a beekeeper. I'm glad I read it, and that I got to see Maurice Sendak's drawings.
I picked up this book on a whim because I loved the cover art, while I was looking for books for my son. This one is a bit too long to hold his attention. The story, I'll admit, was unusual but the painted watercolor and gouache illustrations by two-time Kate Greenaway medalist P.J. Lynch were fabulous! The story was originally published in 1883, but this version of it was done in 1887. The book came with a 15 1/2 minute DVD about the illustrator, which goes into detail about how he first reads ...more
Apr 21, 2010 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Illustrator: P. J. Lynch
Ages: 8-12

Plot: There once was a bee-man, he had no other friends than the honey bees. One day he meets a junior sorcerer who tells him that he has been placed under a curse. And so the bee-man sets out to find out what or who he was before the spell was cast upon him.

Assessment: This is a fairly typical morality tale about being true to yourself, with a slight twist in that the main character proves he was himself all along. While a good story, the narrative at times doe
Written at the turn of the 20th century, The Bee-Man of Orn shurgs off the didactic noose which threatened a lot of children's literature at the time and, instead, seems to honour the themes and ideas prevalent in the earlier traditional tales in which it feels like it has been based. Here we encounter greed and arrogance that comes with wealth as well as the wonderful Bee-Man himself who comes across as simple, yet happy with his lot. This is a story with a wonderful moral and very easy to read ...more
May 20, 2012 Lanier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5- The Junior Sorcerer pondered, “Why the old Bee-man did not happen to be something he was not, and why he was what he happened to be.”
“Did you know you have been transformed?”

10 - “When I catch sight of a bee tree I am drawn towards it, I know not how. Something says to me, ‘That is what you are looking for.’ In the same way I believe that I shall find my original form. When I see it, I’ll be drawn towards it. Something will say to me, ‘That is it.’”

17 - “It is not because I want to be better
Maddie Jaques
The artwork in this is fantastic! I loved it. I wish that there was little more clarity in the characters, but its a fairy tale, lets be honest, they don't HAVE to explain much to you.

I love though, that in the end when the Sorcerer goes back to look at the old hut, the Bee-Man is still the same, he's still a Bee-Man. I think that made me smile most of all.

This book is probably better for school age children opposed to younger children. It's long, and there are LOTS of words. I don't know many
Nov 04, 2014 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My mother bought me this book ages ago when I had a bee swarm take over a bush in front of my Texas house. We had to hire a bee man to come and remove the swarm and later went out to help harvest the honey from our bees. In this book a poor and ugly bee man searches for his authentic form after being told by a young sorcerer that he surely must have been some other being before becoming a bee man. The moral is that in searching for who you are, you may very well discover that you were yourself a ...more
The Bee-Man of Orn is an enchanting story about a man who lived alone among bees. The bees didn't sting him or bother him. The Bee-man was content until a junior sorcerer came to him and convinced him that he must have been transformed frm something. But what? The Bee-man set out to solve this mystery on his own. What happens to the Bee-man? What did he transform from? You will have to read to find out!
I had never heard of this classic folk tale written in the late 1800's by Frank R. Stockton; an epic journey which was made all the better with the stunning illustrations contributed by P.J. Lynch. I would love to see this made into a movie with similar art, young fans of Lord of the Rings would race to see it.

This is a rather lengthy picture book and maybe be best shared in two sessions when reading to a larger elementary class.
Dec 27, 2015 Rosalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The whole idea drew me in. I thought, what could this bee-man be doing? Not to mention there is a cd, or rather a DVD, included. I thought it was music or you could follow along in the story, but it was an additional DVD from the Illustrator, way cool! After I watched the DVD I dived into the book, cover to finish. I love the illustrations and the whimsical story that was new to me, even though it has been around for a long time. Made me feel creative all over again reading it.
Julie Suzanne
We picked this up as a library discard--we were attracted to the artwork and the fact that it came with a "cd." Well, it ended up being a DVD in which the illustrator goes into great detail about the process of illustrating the book, which is the EXACT kind of thing Morgan is into! We LOVED the dvd, and Morgan seems to have really enjoyed the story, although I thought the story was just ok.

If anyone wants this book, I'd be happy to loan it out.

Jul 31, 2014 Kami rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wanted to love it, but didn't. I can't really say why. The pictures are great, the story's ending is perfect. I guess I was just so annoyed at the meddlesome wizard at the beginning to really appreciate the rest of the book. And it was just too moralistic for me, or at least, that the moral was too obvious. Both silly reasons to not like it, but there you have it.
This book is a triple treat. Frank Stockton’s fairy tale is a model of the genre. P.J. Lynch’s illustrations provide children with unforgettable images. The DVD “Making Fairy Tales" that is included with the book adds to the thrill of the story.

To read our full review, go to The Reading Tub®.
Elizabeth Crook
the copy I have from childhood was published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1964 and is inscribed to me by my great Aunt Bill, "Happy Birthday Mary Beth Crook-- 1965-- Lovingly, Aunt Bill" I don't know if this edition has the same text. It's illustrated by Sendak as the original was, but the text might be different. The original was wonderful.
Mar 11, 2012 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love any book with illustrations by P.J. Lynch. Comes with a DVD on creating children's books. Classic tale of a man who is told by a wizard that he is not who he ws supposed to be, is changed into a baby, and grows into the bee-man again. Awesome illustrations!

Own this book. Read it again in preparation for Read across America 2012.
Aug 18, 2015 Ian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, children
After the Bee-Man has been told by a Wizard that he is entitled to more than his mean (but contented) existence, the Bee-Man sets out on a quest to find out who he really is (or should be).

Lovely artwork. The story is quite long and abstract but my 5 year old loves it.

A nice satire on the stupidity of officialdom and the merits of staying true to yourself.
Jan 02, 2017 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this children's book while gathering inspiration for a story and really enjoyed this whimsical tale of the Bee-man on a quest to discover his origins. The warm and detailed illustrations really carry the story, although the narrative itself (reminiscent of a fairy tale) holds its own for both kids and adults.
Feb 05, 2008 Marci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The beautiful tale of finding one's purpose is whimsically illustrated by Maurice Sendak. His illustrations are faultless, and it would seem there could be a competition between P.J. Lynch's illustrated version of this story. Not so. There is room for both versions, both perfectly illustrated by the best of the best.
Nov 06, 2008 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
The illustrations in this book are nice and the story isn't bad, but it is soooo looonnnggg. Not a good read aloud story unless you have a bottle of water at your side. (I felt better about the length when I realized it was originally published in the 1800s, but still.)
Feb 05, 2008 Marci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
P.J. Lynch is an absolutely extraordinary illustrator. His dazzling pictures for this beautiful story of destiny and fulfillment create a meaningful treasure of a picture book. Try to find the edition that has a free DVD with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at P.J. Lynch at work.
Apr 08, 2011 Kerri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children and adults
Beautiful artwork! A tale about a beekeeper who learns from a sorcerer that he is not who he was meant to be, goes on a journey full of adventure, is transformed by the sorceror back to a baby in his "right" life, and ends up becoming a beekeeper again.
Dec 23, 2013 madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely made me think.... Something for which I am thankful....
for short stories with great purpose.
Wonderful, wonderful! Amazing illustrations. Read and ENJOY!
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Frank Richard Stockton was an American writer and humorist, best known today for a series of innovative children's fairy tales that were widely popular during the last decades of the 19th century. Stockton avoided the didactic moralizing common to children's stories of the time, instead using clever humor to poke at greed, violence, abuse of power and other human foibles, describing his fantastic ...more
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