"Sally" is going on sabbatical to write a book.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

In the Trees, Honey Bees


In the Trees, Honey Bees
by Lori Mortensen; illustrated by Chris Arbo
32 pages; ages 3-8
Dawn Publications, 2009

Theme: insects; animal families and social relationships; ecological value of bees

Opening:  "Morning light. Warm and bright. In the trees, honey bees."

With simple, clear language, Lori Mortensen leads children into the daily lives of honey bees. Rhyming text in large fonts tells the bones of the story: when the sun comes out, the bees head out to collect nectar and pollen. Back at the nest - and it is a nest built inside a tree hollow - other bees are busy with housekeeping chores. Then there's the bear to contend with, and a thunderstorm.

Supplemental text at the bottom of the pages give more details about honey bee lives. There are cool facts, too. Did you know that the average colony can have as many as 50,000 worker bees but only a single queen? And did you know that, in addition to collecting nectar and pollen, bees gather sticky sap from trees? They use it as glue in their nests.

Why I like love this book: It's fun to read! The language is lively, and gets the facts across in short, accurate statements. It sings! Also, there's lots of good info at the back for parents and teachers - and kids who want to read further: details about the bee life cycle, how bees pollinate flowers, how honey is gathered, and lots of resources for further study. I'm not the only one who loves this book - it has won at least ten awards.

Beyond the Book: Head outside on a bee hike. Right now, the bees are busy stocking up on winter stores. We find lots of honey bees and native bees on the goldenrod and asters. How many bees do you find?

Do a Bee Dance. In the book, the returning scout bees do a waggle dance to let the other bees know where the flowers are. By the way they orient, and the number of waggles, they communicate direction, distance and quality of nectar and pollen. You can do a "traditional" bee dance, or make up your own to communicate where the "good stuff" is in your house.

Make a candle. Here's some simple directions. All you need is a sheet of beeswax and some wick.

Today's review is part of the STEM Friday round-up. Check out the other science books and resources reviewed this week. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. 

Review copy borrowed from a library.

10 comments:

  1. Insects are always fascinating. . at arms distance! Seriously, there is much to learn about God's little creatures. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. You've captivated me. I can't wait to read the text that"sings!" I also love the idea of the supplemental text. Thanks a bunch.

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  3. The cover sold me -- gorgeous! I can only imagine the illustrations. Kids are fascinated by bees and I love books that show them. My sister-in-law raises three hives of bees on their farm. And, I always make a donation of bees at Christmas time through Heifer International on her behalf.

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  4. Yep, I like this one, too. Good idea to share it with everyone, Sue. And congrats on your agent!

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  5. This book looks fascinating and lyrical at the same time, Sue! Given the current plight of honey bees, this is one I'd love to read and am very glad to be adding to our list! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  6. Looks wonderful. My kids will love this. We went on a Bee Tour last spring and learned all about bee colonies and making honey. Thanks!

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  7. In The Trees, Honey Bees has been a favorite of ours. Thanks for the good suggestion to check goldenrods and asters.

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  8. I think this one is fabulous and I love sharing it with kids.

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  9. thanks for dropping by, everyone... and enjoy watching bees on warm fall days.

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  10. I love this cover! I don't know much about bees, but I like honey! And I can do a pretty good waggle dance! I'll have to check this one out. Thanks!

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