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Author: Elle J McGuinness

Illustrator: Heather Brown

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Accord Publishing, a Division of Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC,

Material: board book

Summary: When the family dog chases a bee into the house, our young narrator is scared. He is afraid of being stung, but the bee is afraid that he won't be able to do his work. Surprised to meet a talking bee, the boy listens as the bee describes his life and all of the important things he does to help humans. This is an animated picture book about fear, understanding, and bees.

Type of Reading: family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, easy reader

Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 5 to 8

Interest Level: 2 to 6

Reading Level: 2.3

Age of Child: Shared with girl nearly 7 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: This took a long time to read, as our daughter loved moving back and forth and making the animation work. The animation, combined with the rhyming scheme and simple vocabulary engaged her not only in listening to the story, but practicing her reading, as well.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a very clever book, and we were as fascinated by the animated illustrations as our daughter. Although we aren't big fans of rhyming books, the verses weren't sickening sweet. This is story with a good lesson, and the two pages of honeybee facts are equally enlightening. The board construction will stand up to lots of readings ... and you'll be doing a lot of that.

Pros: This is a perfect picture book for emerging readers who need to have something to do while they read. Factual data about bees complement this story, making it easy for you to make the book relevant to your world.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book your kids will want to share over and over again. The animated pages will encourage them to come back and flip the pages themselves, too. Toddlers to young elementary-aged kids will enjoy the book, and it offers something for each of those ages.


Educational Themes: The story and facts about honeybees offer a great start to learning more about bees and their role in the ecosystem. You can also bring the book to life by visiting a bee farm or, more simply, planting bee-friendly flowers. The fact sheet has great ideas to get you started.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 2.3

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2008

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