Apologies to Nick Lowe (and, of course, Elvis Costello), but as I walk through this wicked world searching for light in the darkness of insanity, I do, in fact, ask myself if all hope is lost. So much anger, so much arguing, so much partisanship in all corners of the globe. It all makes me wonder why we all can’t just get along—or at least try to find some common ground once in a while.
Fortunately, a new children’s book by Scot Sax offers hope. In The Mosquito and the Bumble Bee, the title characters start off as rivals—each insect revels in ruining picnics and camping trips, but when they meet, they immediately see each other as rivals. Ultimately, though, they come to a realization that theirs is a rivalry based on trivial differences, and with a bit of soul-searching (not to mention some Googling), they eventually figure out that what they have in common is far greater than any trivial differences that might arise between them. And in the end (spoiler alert!), love trumps hate.
With charming illustrations by Molly Reynolds, The Mosquito and the Bumble Bee offers young readers an important lesson on appreciating differences and building friendships—not to mention some interesting information on bees and mosquitoes. It’s a welcome addition to any child’s library—and I can think of plenty of adults who can stand to read it, too!
Shelf Unbound Contributing Editor Marc Schuster is the author of The Grievers, The Singular Exploits of Wonder Mom and Party Girl, Don DeLillo, Jean Baudrillard, and the Consumer Conundrum, and, with Tom Powers, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: The Discerning Fan’s Guide to Doctor Who. He is the editor of Small Press Reviews, and his work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals. Marc teaches writing and literature courses at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.