Small square hardback, 28 pages, £15.00
Emma Buckmaster is a local artist and printmaker, well known for her series of Tree Portraits under the name Buckmaster & French. She is also a ceramicist and is currently working on ceramic glazes made from wood ash from different trees.
This exquisite little children’s picture book was written for adults to enjoy with children and will inspire readers young and old to take an interest in the humble bumblebee. There is a bee to look for on every page.
The life story of the Garden Bumblebee is quite extraordinary. The book only touches on some details but there is plenty to provoke discussion. Bumblebee Queens are vegetarian single mothers who don’t like to go out in the rain. The girls do all the work and the boys leave home and never come back. In the book the nest is invaded by a cuckoo bee who enslaves the worker bees. This is a common occurrence and one of the many dangers they face. All the bee facts have been rigorously checked with bee expert and naturalist, Brigit Strawbridge Howard, whose book Dancing with Bees was published in 2020.
A sample page from the book.
The flowers in the illustrations are all common and might be found on any piece of wild ground, although they often go unnoticed. Shepherds purse is a tiny flower that might grow between paving stones and lesser celandine appears like a yellow star in uncut grass. Even bee orchids can appear in surprising places. The flowers illustrated are from the most common flower families.
The book is published in a limited edition of 200 copies.
A few copies are available with a print of one of the wild flowers hand-coloured by Emma. Contact Emma for further details of these special prints. Have a look at her lovely bee mugs too.