Follow That Bee!: A First Book of Bees in the City by Scot Ritchie; illustrated by Scot Ritchie. 2019. Artwork is done digitally. Published by Kids Can Press.
Brief Summary: Mr. Cardinal keeps beehives in his backyard in the city. He invites Martin and his friends over to the backyard where they learn what bees need to thrive. They help plant a variety of flowers that bees like and learn how pollinators move pollen around. The children learn about how natural honeycomb is made and the ones Mr. Cardinal has in his yard. One of the children gets stung by a bee and is shown how to take out the barbed stinger. They are told what happens to the bee. The students are shown how to wear protective gear and smoke the bees to get the honey to sell at the farmer’s market.
Comments: Great bee basics with many nonfiction text features such as a map, labeled diagrams, bold words, and pictures with captions. The back of the book includes directions of how to make a bee bath and a “words to know” section.
The narrative was on the left side with two paged layouts.
I thought it was funny how calm the child was when Mr. Cardinal took the stinger out of foot. I’m sure young readers will share about their experiences with bee stings.
Please Please the Bees by Gerald Kelley; illustrated by Gerald Kelley. 2017. Albert Whitman & Co.
Brief summary: Benedict the Bear takes for granted the three jars of honey the bees give him each morning. One day he opens his door, and there is no honey, only empty jars. The bees are on strike. Little bees are flying around with picket signs. He is told that the hive needs to be fixed, and there are no flowers for them in his yard. Bear researches what bees like and goes shopping. He returns and fixes the hive. He cleans up his yard and plants wildflowers. The bees are happy and go back to work. Benedict the Bear now harvests his own honey.
Comments: Students could pair this book with a nonfiction bee book or even bounce from this book to doing online research on how important bees are to Nature and how we can help them prosper. It would be beneficial if this could be taken even further by having an area on the school grounds with a bee area where plants that bees favor could be grown. Students could plant the flowers from seeds inside along window sills and then take them outside to be transplanted. I understand that this could be a problem for those with bee allergies, but it would teach them that bees are not enemies that should be feared. Coexist.
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