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Geraldine and the Space Bees

Schiffer Kids. Aug. 2020. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780764359941.
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PreS-Gr 2–In the “Gizmo Girl” series, space enthusiast Geraldine (Geraldine and the Most Spectacular Science Project) returns for a second round of STEM-centric storytelling. Aiming for the same audience as Andrea Beaty and David Roberts’s “Questioneers” series, Regwan presents a spirited girl seeking solutions for the natural world. In this installment, Geraldine combines her interest in space with a newfound concern about a declining bee population. Within several pages, the scientific thrust gets a little confused, with the author asserting both that scientists need to study why bees are disappearing, and that pesticides are to blame for killing bees (presented as an aside: “Her mom had told her about the bee population declining and that something called pesticides were to blame”). Weaving in her previous astronomy focus, Geraldine creates a spaceship habitat for bees (a project that would definitely not withstand weightlessness) and receives incredible validation for the effort when the space museum adds it to their exhibit. The story concludes abruptly after this triumph and the book continues with one brief page about the importance of pollinators. Muzzio’s cartoon-like illustrations convey charm and upbeat earnestness but cannot smooth stilted storytelling.
VERDICT An optional purchase; dedicated seekers of STEM-related picture books might tolerate this astronomy-entomology crossover, but will have to go elsewhere for clarity of purpose.

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