Next Time You See a Bee

NSTA Kids. (Next Time You See). May 2019. 32p. photos. websites. pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781681406510.
Gr 3-5–“Next time you see a bee, stop and watch it for a while,” the author writes. “Can you see its wings? Can you find its eyes?” Morgan focuses not on honeybees, which are not native to North America, but on the 4,000 types of indigenous bees—most of which nest alone rather than in hives but are still keystone species vital to plant pollination and, like their better-known relatives, are suffering from sharp population declines. A gallery of 17 different types of these insects highlights the illustrations, which are otherwise a mix of big, bright, colorful close-ups of bees and other pollinators (all of which are identified in a closing set of thumbnails) on flowers, and of children observing them or engaged in bee-promoting activities. A note to parents and teachers suggests ways to engage budding naturalists, and short lists of activities, plus print and web resources for further information, cap this companion to the more honey-centric likes of Scot Ritchie’s Follow That Bee! 
VERDICT Honeybees get far better press, so this title serves as a needed corrective—as well as being an engaging invitation to younger middle graders to take closer looks at nature in their neighborhoods.

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