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For Your Bookshelf: Bees! | Atomic Bee Ranch

For Your Bookshelf: Bees!

Since there’s an extra week in here with September ending and October beginning I thought I’d thrown in a bonus post that goes back to the For Your Bookshelf theme. Today it’s all about books about bees as our hive gets itself ready to turn inward for the winter. For Your Bookshelf Banner

The Honeybee Man by Leyla Nargi and Kyrsten Brooker

This is a fabulous book about a man who keeps beehives on the roof of his apartment building. The story takes you through his summer as a beekeeper and provides some insight into what’s involved with keeping bees. The best part is the ending where he shares the honey he has harvested with his neighbors creating a community around the bees. 

The Bumblebee Queen by April Pulley Sayre

A factual book for those kids who like nonfiction. The Bumblebee Queen focuses not on honeybees, but on bumblebees and their life cycle. It’s still told in a story-like format following the queen as she emerges in the spring, makes a hive, produces workers and princesses and then dies in the late fall. The text is simple, but complete and features asides and tidbits on many of the pages for when your child wants more information.

Bee BooksBeekeepers by Linda Oatman High

A pitch perfect book about a grandfather and granddaughter who tend their hives together. The story is told in free verse that makes the story digestible even for very young audiences. Again, you get some insight into beekeeping and the tasks that are involved. The illustrations are also lovely and evocative and I think they match the language very beautifully. 


The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco

Mary Ellen is struggling with reading and when she gives up from fatigue and frustration her grandfather takes her on a bee tree hunt. They catch a couple bees in a jar and slowly release then follow them back to their hive. Along the way they pick up a bunch of neighbors who see them chasing after the bees. This is a story as much about community as about bees and it uses the honey as a metaphor for the sweetness of knowledge as Mary Ellen’s grandfather explains at the very end when he encourages her not to give up on reading. 

The BeeThe Bee (First Discoveries)

Cam loves these books. We have a ton of them. They feature these clear pages with pictures printed on them that you can flip over to give you another perspective on the illustration, often a peek inside something. In The Bee you get to see a swarm move, see inside the hive, and a few other things. The text features larger more prominent information that pairs with the picture and usually there is smaller text that you can skip or read depending on the mood of your audience. This is a great book for information about bees themselves and their behavior. 

The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons

I am a huge fan of Gail Gibbons. She writes very matter-of-fact factual books for kids that answer all those burning questions they have about the world. The Honey Makers is a fabulous selection from her backlist. As the title indicates it is about honey bees and is filled with all kinds of information from the life cycle to how they make honey. The illustrations in it are good, although not especially detailed which is typical of her style. The sheer amount of information here makes this book best for breaking up or reading selections from. Don’t be afraid to read the information and paraphrase it for younger children using the pictures for support. 

Berlioz the Bear by Jan Brett

All I want to say about this one is that it’s a funny story where a bee plays a vital role. 🙂 As with all Jan Brett books the illustrations are incredible and the frames around the main pictures feature a side story.  


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