We spent last week studying bees and honey. This is one of a series of excellent books about insects (ants, bees, butterflies, ladybugs) by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries. It tells the story of bees by asking kids to consider how bees are different from humans: Are you a bee? Do you have thousands of sisters? Do you work all day? Do you drink the nectar of flowers? There is a lot of information here but packaged in a way that is accessible for younger children. David isn’t always a big fan of non-fiction books but he liked this one.
David is also always willing to sit for a Magic School Bus book. There really isn’t anything else like these for the way they present science.In this one, the bus turns into a hive and the kids turn into bees and explore a beehive. There is the usual mix of solid facts sprinkled with just the right amount of silly. Loved by my kid who loves non-fiction (John) and the one who doesn’t (David).
Gail Gibbons is another go-to author here for non-fiction. I’ve never been disappointed with one of her books and the sheer breadth of topics she has written about is amazing. This book looks at bees and focuses especially on the honey making activities of bees. It also looks at the human role in honeymaking, from beekeeping to extracting the honey to selling it.
This is a sweet book told in the style of “This is the house that Jack built” about a boy whose grandfather is “the beeman”. The focus is more on the hives and the honey collection process than the bees. There isn’t as much information as in the previous books in this one but it’s a nice introduction to the idea of beekeeping. I see on Amazon that there is a newer version of this book with different illustrations that apparently has some pages added that have more facts and information as well as the inclusion of a poem about bees.
These two books take the reader to Africa and explore the relationship between the honey guide bird and honey badgers (or humans) in finding honey. The first book by Jan Brett has her typically whimsical illustrations and is a humorous look at what happens when a honey badger decides to be selfish and not share the honey with the bird. The bird extracts revenge by leading him to a lion. He narrowly escapes but learns his lesson. The text is full of onomatopoeic phrases as the badger and guide hunt through the African countryside for the honey.
The second book puts the reader in the story as it instructs him in what to do if he happens to be in Africa and hears a honey guide. (Follow it! And definitely don’t forget to share the honey!) The text is slightly more advanced with a healthy dose of humor as the narrator tells you what to do if the guide leads you past a sleeping lion, a snake or a hungry crocodile. (Hint: Abandon the honey in the last scenario, nothing is worth risking a hungry crocodile.)
Be sure to stop by Hope is the Word for more great read aloud ideas!