S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Jan. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481470032.
PreS-Gr 2–Taking a complex idea and breaking it down into a picture book is a difficult task. Here, Hurley describes the extraordinary lives of bees through spare, succinct language and intriguing art. The first spread shows a bee in a flower meadow. If there is anything children know about bees, it is the buzzing sound they make. Right away, readers have something they already know that they can hang new information on. More bees in the next spread are described in a word: “swarm.” These spreads are ideal for sharing with young children, whether on a lap or in a group. Readers learn that bees explore to find the perfect place for a hive, which they then build as a team. Eggs are laid, nurtured, and grow. Here viewers need to look closely. How does this spread show “grow?” Looking carefully, one can see tiny bees emerging from cells in the hive. Pollination is covered as is the lengths bees go to in defending their hives. This engaging book is a full-fledged story of a creature that is an integral part of the ecosystem, and how they survive. This is a great starting place to talk about how all life is part of one world. The author’s note at the end expands on bees and their importance in the natural world.
VERDICT This is a must-buy for all libraries. It’s an appealing introduction to science, ecosystems, and how even the smallest of creatures can matter enormously to our lives.

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