Thursday, June 28, 2012

THESE BEES COUNT- Alison Formento

Every summer, I try hard to pretend that I am a gardener. Usually my attempts are pretty pitiful. I am really good at growing bindweed, this vin-ish thing that multiplies profusely and wraps itself around every other plant in the yard. And I'm good, really good, at petunias. The petunias in my planter boxes have a steady stream of visiting bees. It seems a good day, then, as I sit on my front porch blogging and watching and drinking my coffee, to review a new book about bees.

THESE BEES COUNT is an interesting blend of story, nonfiction facts, and counting book. Mr. Tate's class (I love that this teacher of young children is a man!) go on a field trip to a bee farm. At the farm, they meet Farmer Ellen, who provides some information about bees. The children get dressed in beekeeper garb, then head out to the hives. Farmer Ellen releases the bees, and the book transitions into a counting book, as the bees travel one by one,  from two dandelions, three apple blossoms, four wild strawberries, etc. When the bees return to the hive, the book transitions back into a fiction/nonfiction blend, and the children learn how honey is made.

I could see using this book from preschool to second grade. There's lots of rich information and great vocabulary (apiary, pollen, nectar, extractor) for kids to roll around on their tongues. I loved the collage/painting illustrations, done by by Sara Snow (when I grow up, I swear I am going to study collage!). I found the transition from story to counting book a little distracting, but I don't think it would bother kids at all. In fact, it might even make a great topic for discussion.

Lots of the early childhood and primary classes in Colorado study farms or insects. This book would be   a fun addition to that study.

Read an interview with the author here.

Review copy provided by publisher. 


Linda B said...

The book looks so cute, & would be helpful for some classes. I love collage too, & this combination looks great. One of our classes will become beekeepers next year. It has raised a bit of a conflict, but so far, it's still a go. Some worried parents think their children will be stung-often! Hopefully there won't be a sting on the first day of school! Thanks, Carol.

Carol said...

Did you happen to see the article about bee hives on top of the Brown Palace Hotel in the Denver Post, can't remember if it was earlier this week or late last week. It was super interesting and would be a fun one to share with kids. It might even be a cool field trip!