From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3–An appealing blend of smoothly written text and meticulous color illustrations. Short blocks of large, easy-to-read print, most of which are set on the backgrounds of picture spreads, briefly describe the functions of the queen, drones, and workers; some major physical and behavioral characteristics; the bee communication dance; swarming; and the honey-making process. The realistic, finely detailed paintings match the serene tone of the text. Several spreads offer full-color views of bees foraging for food in idyllic meadows, while others are close-ups of workers busy inside golden-hued hives. The book concludes with miscellaneous facts about the insects and honey. The text omits some important information. For instance, metamorphosis is not described, although several pictures include cross-sections of developing larvae and pupae within their wax cells, and a queen is shown laying an egg. There is little discussion of physical characteristics; however, the illustrations extend the text in this regard as well. Joyce Milton's Honeybees
(Grosset & Dunlap, 2003) describes the stages of metamorphosis and discusses physical characteristics in more detail, but its serviceable illustrations lack the visual detail and technical skill of Schindler's work. Despite the omissions, Rockwell's book will be a useful addition to the subject area and a great read-aloud.–Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Library
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Gr. 1-3. In this offering in the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series, Rockwell discusses the behavior and life cycle of honeybees, with an emphasis on honey production. She explains how workers and their queen live together in a hive, where the queen lays eggs and the workers make honey. She then describes the various roles of worker bees, how honey is made, and the process by which the queen forms a new community. Schindler's realistic artwork is both colorful and nicely matched to the text; however, without captions or labels it is sometimes difficult to discern the queen from her workers. Appended with additional facts, this attractive introduction to honey production will serve students well. Pair it with Deborah Heiligman's Honeybees
(2002), which has more information about the bees themselves. Kay WeismanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved