Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2016 The sweetness of honey, a theme here, is like the sweetness of a friendship, something Beatrice and Abel, a roly-poly bear and a cuddly mouse, learn after a simple but painful misunderstanding. Beatrice raises bees; Abel grows apples. All is in harmony until Abel accidentally gets stung by a bee, and Beatrice, thinking his cries of pain are squeals of laughter, laughs too. Name-calling and hurt feelings follow until an emergency calls for help and forgiveness. Horowitz has fun with language, using descriptions like “mishmash,” insults like “Pie-face,” and onomatopoeic sounds like “ZING!?” and “WHEE HEE HEE!?” Gómez places each character in a cozy home with hints of their interests: instruments in Beatrice’s; art materials in Abel’s. Her soft palette—lots of earth tones with a background of seasonal changes (enjoy the lush end pages)—creates the appropriate reader response of overall well-being and notes the passage of time. Tea with apple butter (plus a recipe) round out the happy ending. Pair with David Covell’s Rat and Roach: Friends to the End (2012). - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2017 K-Gr 2—Not only do next-door neighbors Beatrice, a bear, and Abel, a mouse, run complementary enterprises but they also happen to be the best of friends. While Beatrice's honeybees pollinate Abel's apple orchard, the pair share in the work of harvesting honey and picking apples. In the wintertime, they stay tucked indoors enjoying apple butter toast and tea with honey. When Beatrice mistakes Abel's hollering about a beesting for an attempt to be silly, he gets offended, and they begin a turf war and name-calling battle that jeopardizes both of their endeavors. The bees pay their feud no mind, and eventually the two sort out the confusion and return to their happy arrangement. A good example of how a misunderstanding can be suddenly blown out of proportion, the story employs excellent vocabulary, such as yammered and spluttered. Gomez's folk art—style illustrations are cheerful, if a little young for the presumed audience. VERDICT A solid title for those seeking tales about reconciliation, with a bonus horticulture lesson on pollination thrown in for good measure. A fine addition to classroom and library collections.—Jenna Boles, Greene County Public Library, Beavercreek, OH - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.