Saturday 2 June 2012

154. These Bees Count! by Alison Formento and illustrated by Sarah Snow

These Bees Count! by Alison Formento and illustrated by Sarah Snow
Published March 2012 Albert Whitman & Company (US release)

From the publisher:
How do bees count? The bees at the Busy Bee Farm buzz through the sky as one big swarm, fly over two waving dandelions, find three wild strawberries dripping tasty nectar As the children in Mr. Tate's class listen, they learn how bees work to produce honey and make food and flowers grow. Bees count--they're important to us all. 

There is, at least in Australia, a big shift towards 'real' food, growing your own food, and shopping locally at farmer's markets.  In schools children are becoming more aware of where their food comes from, and the importance of eating good food.  Like the Bee Movie, this book helps tell the story of the importance of bees, not only for the yummy honey, but for their role in helping our food to grow.

Mr Tate's class visit Busy Bee Farm, it's not like other farms, there are no cows, horses or sheep. There are lots of flowers, but it's not a flower farm.  There are lots of apple trees, but it's not an orchard, at this farm they farm bees and honey.  Some of the children are a bit anxious because bees sting, don't they?  When they are all dressed in their white jump suits and nets that cover their faces, even the most nervous child begins to feel more relaxed.

They visit the hives, learn about pollination and listen to the bees 'talk'.  At this point there is a counting element introduced into the story.  Following the bees from flower to flower, we count from 1-10.  At the end of the bees journey the children collect the wooden frames from the hives and learn how the honey is extracted.

The message is there, without it beating you over the head too much.  It's a book you could just read as a nice story, or something you could use to prompt discussion. The illustrations are lovely, using collage.  There is also an page of information at the back of the book, if you want or need further information on bees.

Who will like this book: Boys and girls age 5+
Read it if you like: Bee and Me by 
 Elle J. McGuinness, Heather Brown 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for recognizing the importance of bees in our world and sharing THESE BEES COUNT! with your readers. Here's to the bees and to enjoying the rest of your year of reading.