The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street

The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street

Written by Sarah Webb, Illustrated by Rachel Corcoran

When their father’s business fails, Eliza and Jonty Kane move to a tenement flat in Dublin city, number 16 Henrietta Street. From a crowded tenement to the dazzling world of the circus – can dreams really come true? A tale of bravery, adventure and bee charming!

Paperback: €12.99
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Paperback: 320 pages
Size:216x150 mm
ISBN: 9781788492478

E-Book (ePub): €5.99
Also available as an E-Book (ePub)
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ISBN: 9781788493017

Dublin 1911

When Eliza Kane and her brother Jonty move from the leafy suburbs of Rathmines to a tenement flat on Henrietta Street they are in for a shock. Pigs and ponies in the yard, rats in the hallways and cockroaches or ‘clocks’ underfoot!

When they meet their new neighbour, Annie, a kind and practical teenager and her brothers, and a travelling circus comes to town, offering them both jobs, helping Madam Ada, the bee charmer, and Albert the dog trainer, things start to look up.

When a tragedy happens in the tenements, Eliza, Jonty and their new friends spring into action.

A tale of family, friendship and finding a new home, with touch of magical bees! 

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb is a children’s author who combines writing with schools visits, reading and giving workshops at festivals, and teaching creative writing. She has won two Irish Book Awards for her children's books (for A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea and Blazing a Trail), as well as the Children’s Books Ireland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Books, awarded in 2015. Sarah worked for many years as a children’s bookseller and was writer in residence for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in 2016/2017: she is currently the Children’s Literary Advisor to Listowel Writers’ Week. For more, visit

Rachel Corcoran is a freelance illustrator and designer from Dublin, Ireland. A member of Illustrators Ireland, Rachel's work appears in children's books and book cover illustrations. Rachel also runs her online shop where she sells her earth-kind illustrated greeting cards and prints. When Rachel is not illustrating, she loves to bake with her helper Billie the cat, garden with her outdoor cat Socks, and read books that are set in times long ago. 

The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street is another wonderful children’s book by Sarah Webb. In it she vividly brings to life all the hardship of Dublin’s teeming, overcrowded tenements, where young artist Eliza and her bother Jonty move to, following the downturn of their father’s fortunes.

However despite the searing poverty all about them Eliza soon discovers true friendship as she gets to know her new neighbour Annie. The arrival of Wilde’s Circus brings excitement and colour to the drab city streets and Eliza soon finds herself not only caught up in circus life but learning all about bees and the magic of how to how to charm them from the mysterious Madam Ada.

I loved this book! I was bowled over by the huge amount of research that has gone into telling Eliza’s story. Eliza’s courage and kindness shine out on every page in this brilliantly researched and exciting novel by one of Ireland’s finest writers.   

This captivating story will touch the hearts of all young readers.

Marita Conlon McKenna

This is such a beautiful book and I enjoyed every single page. It’s sad, uplifting, warm and sweet. Sarah tackles difficult subjects in a gentle, sensitive way. Eliza is a great heroine, and her world of Henrietta Street and the circus will linger with me for a long time.

Judi Curtin

A story of family, friendship and never giving up, the strands of this book (the hardship of tenement life, the traveling circus and the unique world of bees) roll together, with young Eliza as the pivotal axis, a sort of “Big Top” … The careful research into every aspect of the tale slips in easily, painting a clear and vibrant landscape of the times. For every glimpse of hardship and tragedy, there are sparkles of resourcefulness, joy and the kind of magic that can be found even in the worst circumstances … It is interesting to note how the bees part of the story echo the events of the plot, with the inclusion of “bee facts” as the heading of each chapter. Their quite dramatic, busy lives create a backdrop to the upcoming action. The bees work together for the good of the hive, and this is both example and shadow of the people of the tenements; how they support each other, regardless of their individual circumstances. (An example to us all….for all time really.) This is a gentle, wonderful book, giving young readers (9-12) a glimpse of tenement life in early 1900s Dublin (an issue often overlooked, but that still has impact today.) Filled with heartbreak, quiet determination, kindness and triumph….and bees. Charming and uplifting.

Evening Echo

Dublin-set historical fiction from the wonderfully versatile Sarah Webb & a timely look at poor housing conditions in the city, among other things. Webb draws on a variety of her passions - art & art history, animals & environmentalism, the early 20th c, strong girls & women … There are echoes here of Siobhan Parkinson's Amelia novels from the early 90s, & Anna Carey's recent The Boldness of Betty; this too zooms in on personal stories over the Big Historical Events … the historical details are woven in lightly but skilfully (I was reminded also of Judi Curtin in this regard) … Historical fiction is really really really REALLY hard & it's done well here - I tip my hat

Claire Hennessy

a great read that mixes adventure and facts perfectly. It's going to be a stunner

Jenn, Read and Review

Also by Sarah Webb:

Emma the Penguin
Sally Go Round The Stars
Animal Crackers
A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea
Blazing a Trail

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Also by Rachel Corcoran:

Lily at Lissadell
Lily Steps Up
Lily's Dream

Go to author page...

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