Bees, Bees, Bees

Raczka, Bob. Beware! Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2019.
This charming picture book – about a little bear frolicking with a bee in a grassy meadow – contains words made using only five letters: b, e, w, a, and r.  Delightful as a read-aloud, it is recommended for young children starting to sound out words for themselves. 

Caprioli, Claire. A Swarm of Bees. New York: Children’s Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2023.
This small book is perfect for young readers starting to do research projects. There is a page of contents, several short chapters, a glossary and an index, all in only 32 pages. The large font, short sentences, and colourful photographs combine to create an appealing nonfiction book highly recommended for readers 6 to 10 years old. 


Holasová, Aneta Františka.  Bruno: the Beekeeper. Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2021.
This detailed picture book – first published in the Czech Republic in 2013 – is full of information for readers who want to learn about beekeeping. It contains anatomical drawings, illustrated timelines, and lovely illustrations of plants and animals. There are details about caring for bees and harvesting honey. There is even a recipe for gingerbread cookies made with honey. The confusing part is that this is all told as an anthropomorphized story of two bears. There is far too much information in much too small a font for this to be a read-aloud book. Meanwhile older readers – using the book for research – will not care about Bruno and his grandmother. As a result, while I can recommend this book for people 11 years old and up who want to expand their general knowledge, be forewarned: ignore the story line.

Mum, Me, and the Mulberry Tree

Rosie, Tanya. Mum, Me, and the Mulberry Tree. Somerville, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2022.
Early on a summer morning, a little girl sets out with her mother to pick berries. They fill their buckets with mulberries, share a picnic lunch, and come home to make a delicious pie. This cheerful rhyming picture book, set in the English countryside, is recommended for children 5 to 9 years old.

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You are a Story

Raczka, Bob. You are a Story. New York: Neal Porter Books, Holiday House, 2023.
You are a person. A friend. An animal. A body of water. A space traveller. A miracle… This inspiring picture book – illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell – encourages readers to see themselves as a project under construction. How will they participate in the life of our incredible universe? Highly recommended for children five to eleven years old. Ideal as a read-aloud as every page is the start of a conversation about what it means to be a human being.

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