Active Synapse, 2000 (2000)
Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton
thing's been done, right? We all laughed and enjoyed
and its more successful rival,
A Bug's Life
on the big screen in the newly emerging CGI animation films. Well, maybe it has been done, but
does it much better than either of those films could, in acquainting us with insects who represent eighty percent of the world's living organisms.
ay Hosler takes on the honey bee in this educating and entertaining graphic novel, that was also the winner of the
. From larva to honey bee to dirt, Hosler presents to us the full life of Nyuki, a bee in
(literal translation from latin,
). This boisterous and sometimes rebellious bee lives her life serving the hive and making friends like Dvorah, her older sibling who teaches her the ins and outs of the honey bee world. Nyuki also meets Sisyphus, the dung beetle and Bloomington, the flower. As she matures and takes on new responsibilities throughout the nest, she learns some of the harder truths of life, ultimately finds her niche among the clan, and even becomes the mature educator that she saw in Dvorah.
proves just how valuable and useful comic books and graphic novels can be. Written by Jay Hosler, who has a PhD in biology, this graphic novel is filled with facts and information that readers can't help but retain. Because Hosler presents his material in a conversational manner, it proves very useful as an educational tool. Its easy manner guarantees a decent level of retention for its content. From Dvorah's '
' theory of the universe to Nyuki's playing Cupid in a game of cross-pollination, almost all arcs within the story have educational value. Also, the graphic novel includes two end pieces - '
' six pages of facts and trivia on bees, and '
' a short six page comic strip about Hossler's experience with an allergic reaction to a bee sting.
ll that this graphic novel lacks is a good introduction to help prime readers for the exciting journey they're about to embark upon, but then again, part of
's charm is that it is very unassuming. Drawn in simple black and white, the panels do not feel overcrowded, nor overloaded with pictures that might inhibit understanding. Hosley isn't afraid to leave open spaces of black and white. This graphic novel's versatility cannot be overstated. Whether as an aid to a science or reading class, or for the recreational reader,
will meet the expectations of many audiences.
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