‘Just call me Bee. Please, please call me that. If you call me Beatrix Daffodil Tulip Chrysanthemum Rose Edwards I shan’t answer you. I am not being rude or unfriendly, or insolent as Mrs Dixon my teacher calls me. I just don’t like my name. Well, would you?’
Bee stumbles through life in her stripy socks with her head in the clouds, doing her very best to keep out of the way of her bickering parents and avoid the bendy tap dancing freak Crystal Kelly – who makes her life a misery. But when Crystal double-dares her to volunteer for a sponsored swim in honour of her great grandmother Beatrix’s memory, Bee can’t back down. Even though she is terrified of water and cannot swim!
Then new boy Moon-Star gallops to Bee’s rescue on his horse and takes her to meet Old Alice, who lives in a beautiful painted wagon. As Bee enters this new world, her life is changed for ever.
Finally she has an ally. Down by the promise tree the new friends make a pact – Moon Star will teach Bee to swim if Bee will teach him to read. They spit on their hands and shake on their vow and a beautiful friendship begins.