If Bees Disappeared

Roaring Brook. (If Animals Disappeared). Mar. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250232458.
Gr 1-4–This book describes the crucial role honeybees play in our lives and how we can help them survive and remain healthy. The narrative starts in Kent, a county in the United Kingdom that is known as the “Garden of England.” The lush illustrations are packed with information about the kinds of bees, the inside of a hive, the process of pollination, and the foods that depend on honeybee pollination. The clear writing is engaging. Many essential vocabulary words and phrases are introduced, such as keystone species, pollinators, superorganism, and Colony Collapse Disorder. Each of these terms is clearly explained. At the beginning of the book, readers learn how honeybees impact life on earth, and then discover the threats to their survival and the ways humans can aid their survival. According to the text, if honeybees disappeared, most of the plants that bees pollinate would also disappear. Additionally, our favorite foods would become rarer, birds might disappear, and there would be a limited variety of crops. This unraveling effect is called a trophic cascade. But all is not lost. The extensive back matter includes a substantial list of ways to save the bees, a glossary, a bibliography, and additional sources. The result is a compelling look at the plight of the honeybee. The illustrations feature a girl with light skin and dark hair and a girl with brown skin and textured hair.
VERDICT A rich, well-designed offering with multiple uses for teachers and students. A standout among the many books about honeybees.

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