Cover image for Horsefly and Honeybee
Horsefly and Honeybee
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, 2012.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 24 cm.
Reading Level:
AD 440 L Lexile
Honeybee and Horsefly have a fight that results in each of them losing a wing and being forced to walk, but when they are both captured by hungry Bullfrog their only hope of escape is to work together.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY CEC 0 1
Book EASY CEC 1 1
Book EASY CEC 0 1
Book EASY CEC 0 1

On Order



When Honeybee decides to take a nap in the same flower as Horsefly, trouble ensues! They don't want to share, and after quarrelling, run away in opposite directions. But it isn't long until they meet again... They have both been captured by hungry Bullfrog! If Horsely and Honeybee are to escape before dinnertime, they must find a way to work together.

With beautiful illustrations and simple text, this is a sweet story about sharing and friendship.

Author Notes

Randy Cecil has illustrated many books for children, including Dusty Locks and the Three Bears and And Here's to You! (a New York Times bestseller). He lives in Houston, Texas.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-When two sleepy bugs, looking for a comfortable napping spot, confront each other inside a daylily, they have an altercation. Unfortunately, they each lose a wing during their squabble and have to resort to using their feet for traveling. The two meet up once again when they're both snatched by a bullfrog and set aside for his dinner. Fortunately, just at the moment the frog is ready to eat them, the two insects clutch onto each other and work together to make their escape. The mostly grass-green and pond- and sky-blue illustrations vary from full spreads to small vignettes and deftly depict the characters' humorous facial expressions. The googly-eyed creatures and their utterance of "Drat!" at just the right moment create a very funny story and a great read-aloud that children and their adults will love.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Horsefly and Honeybee meet inauspiciously, when the petite yellow bee invades an orange daylily occupied by the larger fly. "They had a fight. It wasn't pretty. Horsefly lost a wing. Honeybee lost a wing, too." They march off in opposite directions, only to be captured by a bullfrog. (He catches insects with his fingers rather than his tongue, thus prolonging the suspense.) The rivals squat miserably on a lily pad while the frog collects more food, but soon discover that their survival depends upon cooperation. Cecil (Brontorina) creates striking oil-on-paper images; his cartoonish characters escape the leathery green lily pad, with its fuchsia and violet blooms, for crystalline blue skies and a shared home in an orange flower bud. He concludes with an epilogue from Luciano De Crescenzo: "We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another." While the fate of real-life insects dismembered in such a way would be decidedly less rosy, the charm with which the book's message is delivered should keep readers from dwelling on such unpleasantness. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

When Horsefly and Honeybee pick the same flower for a nap, a fight ensues. "It wasn't pretty," and they each lose a wing. Unable to fly, they are easy prey for Bullfrog, who saves them for dinner. In their fear, they grasp one another and flutter their wings"and up they went!" Amusing oil-on-paper illustrations match the charming, undidactic text. (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

New York Review of Books Review

#+ |9780307743909 |9780307949455 |9780307743893 |9780307949448 |9780449011409 |9780062082947 |9780062082930 |9781455851546 |9781455851522 |9781455851553 |9781455851539 |9781455851515 |9780763651206 |9780763656362 |9780007334063 |9780007447428 |9780375870293 |9780375970290 |9780449013816 |9780375988684 |9781554981809 |9780375967559 |9780307942630 |9780375867552 ~ MEMBERS of the criminal underworld, beware the little children. They've been on to you for years, and the number of mystery-loving young readers seems only to grow. Now to the ranks of Encyclopedia Brown and Cam Jansen comes the newest crop of budding Hercule Poirots: two are American, one is from Botswana, one gang hails from England, and two are Canadians 'with twitchy noses. The one thing they have in common is that each provides the seeds to understanding how a perfectly average child (or rabbit) might go about becoming a sleuth when baddies need foiling. While it's hardly Alexander McCall Smith's first work for children, "The Great Cake Mystery" uses a particularly interesting approach. McCall Smith's early chapter book travels back in time to introduce Precious Ramotswe, the protagonist in his "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series, when she was just a child herself. "The Great Cake Mystery" recounts Precious' first case ever: a hungry thief is lifting treats and delicious tidbits kept in the children's belongings in her classroom. Though the book is gorgeously illustrated by the remarkably talented Iain McIntosh, McCall Smith, alas, does not seem entirely comfortable writing for a younger audience. Characters often explain things that would be entirely obvious to them, and chapter breaks are unnervingly sporadic. The result is a beautifullooking book that fills a real need for detective stories featuring characters who are anything other than white, but one that could have been stronger. Another entry into this genre also features a character with a serious built-in fan base. Yet where McCall Smith writes younger, Jane O'Connor goes for older readers. Fancy Nancy is an undisputed picture-book and early-reader phenomenon, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before her creators started working her into chapter books. It's tempting to write off "Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth" as a bold attempt to siphon additional cash from little girls' parents. However, bedazzled magnifying glasses aside, "Super Sleuth" is quite well done. In their first outing as detectives, Nancy and her best friend, Bree, discover two mini-mysteries (one involving a guilty friend, the other a missing marble) and through believable and clever investigative work manage to solve both. O'Connor, a children's books editor in her own right, has a fine ear for dialogue and includes details that will amuse parents roped into reading this ai bedtime. You can't write this one off. Just as Nancy spins off into a series for children who might otherwise outgrow her, so does Clarice Bean morph into Ruby Redfort. Fans of Lauren Child's "Clarice Bean" books know by now how much Clarice adores reading a mystery series starring a girl named Ruby Redfort. With "Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes," those books-within-the-books are now a reality. Here, the code-cracking genius Ruby is recruited by the secret agency Spectrum to help foil a bank heist and protect a rare jade statue in a story that clearly draws inspiration from the hardboiled American crime novels of yore. Children must therefore get past characters calling one another "kid," "sweetheart," "lady," and a whole host of outtas, wannas and gottas. (Child is British, and her awe of American vernacular shows.) Though the book is a nice pastiche of the spy genre for younger readers, sluggish sections in which Ruby reads newspapers may lose some. Child sets her story in an imagined world where spy gadgets are abundant but cellphones and the Internet seem not to exist. When a phone number is listed as KLondike 5-1212, the jig is officially up. A more reliable method of doing away with technology is simply to place a story in the past - the distant past, if at all possible. Though known best to Americans for his work on the deadly serious "Dark Materials" books, Philip Pullman taps into his funny side with the wholly lighthearted "Two Crafty Criminals!," a set of capers previously published in Britain in 1994 and '95 but appearing here for the first time. In the late-19th-century London borough of Lambeth, a crew of kids calling themselves the New Cut Gang encounter two distinct mysteries in separate stories. In the first, someone is spreading counterfeit money and it's up to the Gang to use a mannequin - an easily manipulated chestnut man - and a bit of ambergris to thwart the villain. In the second, someone has stolen the gas fitters' silver and the Gang manages to save the day thanks to a strongman, a bowler hat and the Prince of Wales himself. Where Child attempts an American voice with mixed results, Pullman fully embraces his English roots, which means children must tolerate references to everything from shillings to cricket without explanation. Once the stories hit their stride, they prove to be a hoot, but they may require patience to get there. CROSSING back to Canada, we find the loosest mystery of the bunch. Polly Horvath has never struck me as an author who cares one jot what people think of her, and "Mr. and Mrs. Bunny - Detectives Extraordinaire!" does little to change this opinion. Raised by members of the counterculture, the perfectly sensible (and human) Madeline is stunned when her parents are kidnapped by what appears to be a car full of dastardly foxes. To her aid come Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, a pair of rabbits who have recently taken up detective work as their latest hobby. They may initially be more in love with the idea of wearing fedoras than with actual detecting, but they are Madeline's best hope. As with "Two Crafty Criminals!," readers will have to slog through language that isn't particularly child-friendly, in this case involving an alt-hippie lifestyle's references and phrasings. Yet if they make it past the first chapter, they're in the clear - everything thereafter is quite amusing. Horvath overdoes the winks to adult readers, but her fuzzy detectives will give younger readers something they can readily grasp and enjoy. Origin stories one and all, these introductory detective books won't necessarily supplant the established Nancy Drew or Jigsaw Jones in a child's affections. But they'll almost certainly sate a craving for bite-size mysteries. Elizabeth Bird is the New York Public Library's youth materials specialist. She is collaborating on a book about the true stories behind popular children's books.