Monday, February 17, 2014

Nonfiction Monday: Flight of the honey bee by Raymond Huber, illustrated by Brian Lovelock

You might think I was feeling longings for spring, reviewing all these spring-type books in February...except I actually wrote these in December. Christmas day, to be exact. Hah! Anyways.

I have no idea where I saw a review or mention of this, but I was delighted by it when I came to read it. Publishers are producing some really great easy nonfiction these days and this is definitely up there.

The endpapers are the opening of the book; on a background of green-speckled yellow, the author explains the importance and wonder of honeybees and introduces the book - it will be the story of a scout.

The rest of the book follows Scout through her first trip out to find pollen and explains how she finds her way, recognizes flowers, gathers pollen, and leaves a trail for the rest of her fellow scouts. Small captions add additional information about bees and the main text is broken up into simple paragraphs that could be easily adapted to a younger listening audience in storytime. The other set of endpapers have a brief list of things readers can do to help bees, an index, and a note about the author and illustrator.

While I generally prefer photographic art for easy nonfiction, to make it easier for kids to make that divide between "real" and "pretend", the art in this book is so gorgeous that I can live with it being more conceptual and less photographic. Blazing splashes of color on speckled backgrounds of bright yellow, cool greens and blues, and vivid oranges are truly eye-catching. I especially loved the spread showing Scout in the rain - the giant rain drops look like hail and really capture how dangerous such a simple thing can be to a small insect.

Verdict: Definitely add this one to your easy nonfiction and think about ways to use it in storytime. Recommended.

ISBN: 9780763667603; Published 2013 by Candlewick; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

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