Bruno the Beekeeper: A Honey Primer

Candlewick. Mar. 2021. 80p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781536214611.
Gr 2-5–This title presents interesting facts and illustrations about bees (worker bees, drones, and queen bees), the steps involved in the metamorphosis from egg to fully developed bee, the body parts of bees, and the life cycle of each type of bee. For example, a worker bee dies after 40 days. There is also information about caring for the hive during each of the four seasons. Yet there is a strange disconnect here too, as the scientific explanations are mixed with the story of Bruno the beekeeper, who happens to be a bear, and his grandmother and grandfather, who are humans. Grandma is depicted as a blonde woman with light skin. The text also mentions baby bears but does not include further details about this surprising situation. Bruno, despite his appearance, acts like a person since he sleeps in a bed, reads stories, and makes tea. There is also a disconnect between the words and illustrations as Bruno is shown fully clothed and wearing protective gear, but the text states that because he is a bear and has a thick fur coat, he doesn’t need this protective suit.
VERDICT This is a possible addition to books used in a classroom study of bees, but the fictional narrative serves a questionable purpose.

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