Monday, May 20, 2019

Tomato Sauce The Hard Way! Swarm of Bees by Lemony Snicket

The frown and the tiny smirk on the boy's face on the inside cover suggest that he's got a mad on, and the red wagon piled high with ripe tomatoes suggest mischievous means at hand.

And there--on a low-hanging branch--hangs a buzzy bee hive. What could happen?

Of course, the kid nails the quiet hive with a well-aimed tomato.


You are so angry! What will you do?

The angry swarm of bees are on a mission. A miasma of MAD, they threaten everyone in their path--a happy sailor hustling off his ship to hug his mother, a bricklayer building a wall along with a big appetite, a food truck where cooks are prepping lunch, a cat stalking a bird who has just snatched a worm, kids playing cards on their balcony....
 Swarm of bees, are you going to sting the boy?
He keeps throwing tomatoes.

Splat! The boy hits the cat and the bird and the food truck and the bricklayer and the mother and the sailor, all of whom start to chase HIM! Along with some really angry bees!

What this story needs about now is a BEEKEEPER, and that's just who comes along just in time to bag the bees, in a Deus ex machina ending to Lemony Snicket's just published Swarm of Bees (Little, Brown and Company, 2019). Peace is restored and all is forgiven, as the food truck cooks turn bruised tomatoes into a tasty, spicy pasta sauce for everyone on the block.

When life gives you ripe tomato bombs,  make spaghetti sauce, in zany kid's author Snicket's latest tale, illustrated with pizzazz and psychological perception by illustrator Rilla Alexander's digital stamp technique, a sort of graphic expressionism in which the boy's yellow bee-stripe shirt conveys and transfers his anger to the avenging swarm represented as yellow and black circles led by one stripey bee. Luckily, the bees are soon re-hived and all's well that ends well in this tale of what to do with a really bad mood. Pass the Parmesan, everyone, and buon appetito!

For more anger management, share this one with Molly Bang's classic Caldecott Honor book, When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry… (Scholastic Bookshelf).



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