More than an ad­ven­ture – ‘Rain­bow’s Heart’ has an en­vi­ron­men­tal mes­sage

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPUZZLES - VIVIEN HORLER

THE Rain­bow’s Heart, by Richard La­timer ( Bum­ble Books) BEES are tricky in­sects – we like their honey and we’re glad they help to pol­li­nate our plants.

But they also have nasty stings which can re­ally hurt.

The Rain­bow’s Heart is about a colony of bees who are starv­ing to death be­cause a poacher has sliced down all the nearby flow­ers to sell over­seas.

This means there is no nec­tar they can use to make honey.

But a hon­eyguide – a bird that guides hu­mans to bee colonies – sees that there is a big prob­lem. So it flies to the city where it spots a bright and beau­ti­ful gar­den.

The gar­den be­longs to cousins Dusty and Bob, who love birds and bees, be­cause birds and bees help keep gar­dens healthy.

The hon­eyguide lets them know they need to fol­low it. So they pack up their 4x4 with a tent and all sorts of camp­ing equip­ment and – most im­por­tant – a bag of magic flower seeds. Then they head off into the wilds of Africa, fol­low­ing the bird.

And they have some real ad­ven­tures: they meet many an­i­mals – ze­bras and snakes and os­triches and spring­bok, and even bats. They come across spi­ders and scor­pi­ons – but no bees. Are they too late?

They get stuck in the mud in a swamp, and come across a croc­o­dile and a hippo. They get caught in a ter­ri­ble storm, with the wind blow­ing around their tent like a jet plane.

And even­tu­ally they come to a huge hill piled with rocks. There are many paint­ings of an­i­mals on the rock walls. They have found the se­cret home of the bees – but have they ar­rived in time to save them?

This is a good story about look­ing after our world and also about trav­el­ling in Africa.

And it has ab­so­lutely won­der­ful bright pic­tures.

There are hun­dreds of crea­tures to spot on the pages, so it could take quite a long time to read all the way through.

The Rain­bow’s Heart won Best Chil­dren’s Book Pub­lisher Africa at the Bologna Chil­dren’s Book Fair ear­lier this year. WIN WITH JBJ We have five copies of The Rain­bow’s Heart to give­away. To en­ter the draw to win, SMS your name, phys­i­cal ad­dress and con­tact de­tails with the key­word Rain­bow to 34445 by Mon­day 2pm. The usual com­pe­ti­tion rules ap­ply. SMSes cost R1.50 each.

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