From the very first thick black line of the bee buzzing overhead to the bee buzzing through the legs of the mom on her way to work, this book is a visual delight. The black and yellow striped end pages are fun too. The repetition of the onomatopoeia buzz and the black and yellow stripes pulled text and illustrations together. The change in perspectives drew my eyes to look close, to follow the movement of the morning, and to step back, and to look down. The textures from the printmaking paper and techniques and the bold colors and solid shapes are fun and perfect for young children. Even though the shapes are solid, there is still a sense of movement when the clothes come out of the dryer and the mom “hops on one leg to put her right sock on.”
Janet Wong has a way of taking the very simple things in life that transcend race and ethnicity and stretching them out to tell the story in this case of the feelings of a child as the adults get ready for their day. A subtle use of alliteration in the repetition of the /b/ sound throughout the text matched the theme and the bee.
The syntax bold type set matches the bold shapes and the black stripes of the bee. As the size of the type changes, becomes thicker, bolder, bigger, the eyes of the reader follow them. And it is impossible not to buzz with the bee and the alarm clock, wave goof-bye to Daddy and exclaim over the spilt juice. The placement of the text invites participation as does the line the bee travels. I am sure no little child could keep his or her hands off the page while listening to this book being read.