Booklist (March 15, 2011 (Vol. 107, No. 14))
Grades K-3. Inspired by two beekeepers in her New York neighborhood, adult-writer Nargi makes her debut children’s book with this fictional story of Fred, a Brooklyn beekeeper who can see the tall city buildings from his rooftop, where he keeps thousands of bees in three tiny city hives. There may be as many as 60,000 worker bees in a hive in summer, and as Fred releases them, they zip out and blaze through the city into neighborhood gardens. Then the keeper welcomes the bees back, heavy with nectar to store in their wax rooms. True to Fred’s viewpoint, the bright illustrations in collage and oil paint make the connections between the buildings on the skyline and the close-up views of the boxed hives on the roof, as he imagines the bees diving into the flowers in the backyard urban gardens and bringing the nectar home. The story is engaging, and even with extensive notes and diagrams at the back, readers will want more about the astonishing science.