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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Presented in paperback form this book seems slight, a large format but with only a few pages, but spend a little time admiring the dark, glowering illustrations and you find the substance. The story is poignant and relevant as one sole creature, whose peaceful pastoral life gets swept away in a tidal wave of urban development, tries to save one small part of his former life. The illustrations and typography are moody, dark and beautiful and will probably charm and intrigue adults more than very young children.

Compared to the wonderful Varmints animated film made by Marc Craste (which features 'And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees', a beautiful soundtrack by Jóhann Jóhannsson) the story presented here is more spare and poetic but just as touching. If you love the book you really have to see the film - and vice-versa. Unfortunately the film's not available from Amazon or on DVD, but it is available to download from the iTunes Store. Both book and film very highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2008
I first spotted this book in Waterstones, and immediately picked it up because of the cover with the cute little creature. However when I turned the first two pages I knew this wasn't going to be like ANY children's illustration book I've ever read...

The story is about creatures who love nature and take care of plants in the fields, but then an industrial city is built over this peaceful landscape. However there is one creature who won't give up on looking after one, small plant.

The narration is very deep and definitely makes you think. The story in general makes you think too. This means that this book can be enjoyed by adults. But it's not just the story that shines, it's the illustrations aswell! Probably the best I've ever seen, they are dark, detailed and epic, but also feature these cute, simple characters, possibly the only lighthearted aspect of the book. The cute characters mixed with the industrial, dark atmosphere is very unique.

Overall a brilliant read not just for children, but for adults too. And it's a great book to look through, because these illustrations are just incredible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2012
"There was once only the sound of bees and the wind in the wiry grass, the low murmuring of moles in the cool dark earth"
This is a beautiful book with beautiful concepts about the state of the world and our ideas about ignoring the consequences of our actions. I first came across this as a short film (25 minutes) which can be bought on iTunes. It is similar in artwork but the story is much more detailed and has more depth to the meanings

Other buyers have mentioned this graphic book is suitable for both children and adults though I think adults may enjoy it more and can better understand its concepts. It is quite dark as many of the later images feature dark colours and perhaps frightening images.
I would definitely recommend buying the hardcover edition as it is just something that you would want to enjoy again and again without worrying too much about damage.
Overall I just find that this product is unlike any other kinds of graphic novels or children's picture books, and is certainly a fantastic item to own, it takes pride of place on my bookshelf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2012
A beautiful story, beautifully illustrated. As a teacher, I've used this book with young children and young adults and it has universal appeal. I love it myself and this purchase is for my little son who's only a tiny thing yet but I want it to be one of his favourites too!
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on 1 November 2011
This book is a true delight in every way. I cannot recommend it enough.The illustrations by the wonderful Mark Craste are glorious. It is a book to be treasured and enjoyed. As it is boxed it will be protected and I hope, handed down through my family for many years
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on 12 April 2009
I loved this book, no reason to read too much into this review, the book's a joy to look at with an interesting concept behind it. I love Studio AKA's work anyhow so now my kids can enjoy their work too...
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on 6 July 2013
I first saw this story on a course and the amount of literacy you can get out of one book is simply amazing.
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on 12 February 2015
F-A-B! Good service and the book is fantastic.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2008
Winner of the English 4-11 2007 Award for Key Stage 2 Fiction

The design and layout of this book immediately make the reader curious. Who is this creature staring straight at you on the cover? A dictionary definition of "var+mint" is on the opening page and then you turn to the first illustration of bees flying over rustling grass beneath a vast skyscape and a text which begins in the picture and then runs along the bottom of the page. "There was once only the sound of bees and the wind in the wiry grass, the low murmuring of moles in the cool dark earth..." But there are changes afoot and, as other inhabitants come, and "tall buildings scratched the sky where the birds once sang", there is a loss of the quietness - peace is drowned out by noise. Helen Ward's economy of language, together with the dramatic images of Mark Craste combine to make this a very imaginative and thought provoking story which will certainly stimulate children in key stage 2.
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on 31 January 2015
Great stuff
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