Lela Nargi and Kyrsten Brooker
Fred lives in Brooklyn, right in the heart of the city. His apartment building is surrounded by linden trees and other tall apartment buildings. When he climbs up to the roof of his building, Fred loves that he can see the entire city spread before him. But more than that, he loves the bustling miniature city that is entirely contained on his rooftop.
Fred is a beekeeper. His bees are housed in sectioned beehives that smell like a cross between caramel and ripe peaches. Each of the three buildings is ruled by a queen bee, whom Fred has named Queen Mab, Queen Nefertiti, and Queen Boadicea. While the queens are busy laying eggs, the workers are building wax rooms, feeding babies and visiting flowers all over Brooklyn.
Lela Nargi's inspiration for this story was two real life Brooklyn apiarists. I wonder how many of the little details are invented or based on the real apiarists? Fred has fancy names for his queen bees, but his cat's name is simply Cat. He wears slippers to the roof that match his royal blue cardigan, and a plaid newsboy cap covers his balding head. I like the details of his house: the patchwork quilt on his bed, the various wallpaper prints in each room, and the aqua webbed aluminum lawn chair that older people always seem to have.