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Developing “Bee”: a guest post by Britta Teckentrup

Posted on Jul 10, 2016

Bee boCVRAmongst the array of beautiful narrative non-fiction picturebooks being published in this Golden Age of the picturebook,  Tree by Patricia Hegarty and Britta Teckentrup stands tall as one of the most accomplished, effective, fascinating and utterly striking. Their new collaboration, Bee: Nature’s Tiny Miracle (Little Tiger Press) is equally outstanding, focusing again on the natural world, its beauty but also its fragility, offering a plight for its protection. Here, the Bee is the focus, which despite its vital role in our ecosystem is facing many challenges. Hegarty’s wonderfully lyrical poetic text invites the reader to follow a bee on its daily routine, describing with melodic and atmospheric language many scientific facts such as pollanisation. The text is so gentle, lulling almost, creating a really warm, protective feeling towards this hero of our natural world:

As the bees fly no through buds and burrs,
A tiny miracle occurs

For every plant and flower you see
Was given life by one small bee.

The text is truly joyous, and it is married with some of Britta Teckentrup’s most breathtaking work yet. Spread after spread, readers are treated to natural landscapes abounding with colour, with the flora, so vital to bees’ work, taking centre stage in the most awe-inspiring way. The use of hexagonal peep-though holes allows readers to follow the bee but it is hard to tear your eyes away from the magnificence of the flowers in some of the spreads.
Teckentrup’s distinctive style of multimedia collage really is showcased at its best here, and I am particularly delighted therefore that for this stop of the Bee blog tour, Britta chose to describe how she created the artwork for the book:

 

Developing Bee
by Britta Teckentrup

Britta 1

 

Like with all of my books I work with a mix of hand-made and digital collage.

I first create lots of papers with different textures …

Bee1

…which I then cut up into petals, flowers grass etc.:

Bee2

Once I have enough collage pieces and textures to work with I scan them into the computer and start putting it all together:

bee3

 

Here are some of my early designs for ‘Bee’:

 

BEE4

BEE6
BEE7
BEE8

BEE9
BEE10

I then had to develop the images further to make sure all the die-cuts would work and the text would fit in nicely. Here is a final spread of the book:

 

BEE11
BEE12

 

…and this is the final book. It was a wonderful project to work on!

Bee boCVR

 

***

Thank you so much Britta, what a fascinating insight in your work.

The blog tour concludes tomorrow at Magpie That.
Check out previous stops on the tour:  Picture book blogger, Book Lover Jo, Minerva Reads, Playing by the Book, Story Snug and Little Tiger Blog.

 

Source: review copy from publisher

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  1. Bee by Britta Teckentrup – katie reviews books - […] This collage is featured on the blog Library Mice […]

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