Title: Jaime Lea and the Bumblebee
Illustrator: Matthew Thorpe
Publisher: Mathelian Books
Published: February 2012
Source: Won in a giveaway @ Pen To Paper
Read: August 3
In A Few Words: Imaginative and well-illustrated
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars
Website For This Book: *Jaime Lea and the Bumblebee Site
*Note: According to the jacket of the book, for every book sold through the website £1 will be donated to the UK based disabled children's charity 'Whizz-Kidz.'The donation is the same whether the order is based in the UK or an international order.
Unfortunately there isn't a synopsis available from Goodreads as this book isn't on the site. But, basically it is the story of a little boy named Jaime, who happens to be in a wheelchair. He often sits outside, looking at the bees as they fly by. One day, he gives a bee some honey to give it energy, and the bee talks to a garden fairy, who then goes to Jaime and asks him, "If you could be anyone who would you be?" Jaime says that he knows that his mom and dad love him, and that there's no one he'd rather be. The fairy is so touched by this that she sheds a few tears, and the tears of a fairy grant the wish of the person they fall upon. It's Jaime's wish to be fly around with the bees, so he becomes a bee for the day and gets to fly around and experience life as a bee.
I was so happy to get this book in the mail. For one, because I don't often get mail all the way from the UK. And secondly, because this is a wonderful book, and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to read it.
This book is wonderful for kids. It teaches a valuable lesson in that when the fairy asks Jaime what he wants to be, rather than being something different he is perfectly happy as he is. This is a good lesson for all children, for them to be comfortable and happy with themselves just as they are. I think that it's also a particularly important insight for children with disabilities (and adults with disabilities who may need a gentle reminder) that they should be happy just as they are.
Many times people with disabilities are seen as being different, or having something "wrong" with them. I am a firm believer that there is nothing "wrong" with disabled individuals. Many people are just uncomfortable with things that are different, or that they aren't used to. Sometimes in society, disabilities are seen as something that needs to be fixed, and that can cause disabled individuals to feel like they want to be "normal" Well, not in this case. The fact that Jaime is happy just as he is the way he is is an important lesson for everyone.
In addition to the insightful lessons and the sweet story line, the illustrations in this book are wonderful. The colors are bright, vibrant and rich. I also enjoyed that the whole inside back jacket after the last printed page is a full illustration rather than just blank white space. I have been reading the book with my niece, who loves all the flowers in the book.
To find out more about this wonderful book please visit the website for Jaime Lea and the Bumblebee. For every book purchased through the website £1 will be donated to the UK based charity 'Whizz-Kidz'. 'Whizz Kidz' primary goal in addition to providing wheelchairs, mobility equipment and training and advice for kids outside the NHS, is to give kids the independence to be themselves.