Darius frowned. ‘Is it really so bad, Mr Fisher? Will there really be nothing?’
‘No bees – no fruit, no vegetables,’ murmured the gardener, as he had said before. ‘Nothing.’
Mr Beale had been right, thought Darius. For a moment he tried to imagine what the world would be like if there were no bees anywhere….Humans depended on bees to an extent he hadn’t understood.
When the bees start to disappear from the Belle state, Darius worries that his favourite honey will run out. It takes him a while to realise that much more than the honey supply is at stake. Without bees there will be no fruit or vegetables, and his friends the Fishers, who run the estate’s gardens, will have to leave the estate. Darius is determined this won’t happen.
Darius tries to investigate why the bees have gone and how he can save the food crops – but he’ll have to outsmart his old adversary, the Mayor, who loves it when things go wrong for the Bells. He’ll also need to keep the school principal, Mrs Lightman, off his case.
Darius Bell and the Crystal Bees is the wonderful sequel to the award-winning. Darius manages to once again save the day,with the help of his friends and in spite of his family’s seeming dysfunction. His father, a writer who is never published, has some lessons for Darius this time, and while there are similarities with the first title, there is also enough difference to avoid being reptitive or overly predictable.
Darius’ world if full of whimsy and a bit larger than life, but this is what makes it so very appealing.
Darius Bell and the Crystal Bees, by Odo Hirsch
Allen & Unwin, 2011
This book can be purchased in good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.