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In the Trees, Honey Bees! Paperback – March 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3–Short, simple rhyming words and phrases, printed in large type on realistic illustrations, describe the amazing life cycle of the honeybee. The vibrantly colored scenes center on a beehive hidden in a tree trunk and the grass and gardens surrounding it. Brief paragraphs in a smaller font provide more information about the insect's depicted activities. Arbo's incredibly detailed, lifelike close-ups of female worker bees performing the jobs through which they rotate during their short lives greatly enhance the text. Two pages of information about honeybees are appended. Deborah Heiligman's Honeybees (National Geographic, 2002), illustrated with simple folk-style gouache paintings, also stresses the many jobs of worker bees. In The Life and Times of the Honeybee (Houghton, 1995), Charles Micucci offers pages filled with tables, charts, and diagrams that overflow with interesting tidbits for readers seeking greater detail. A wonderful choice for sharing aloud, Mortensen's finely crafted book makes a solid addition.–Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


At last, here is a book ideally suited to capture the interest of young readers. I highly recommend it as a way to share both the fascinating lives and the importance to humans of honey bees and even parents will find much of interest. --Dana Stahlman, EAS Master Beekeeper, former teacher and host of

This beautiful large-format book shows the bees living in their natural home, a hollow tree. The dramatically large drawings realistically show the bees and their comb, brood, pollen and honey. Most pages have a little rhyme accompanying the drawing. Although this is primarily a picture book, the text for each picture presents some accurate information about the life of bees. The book ends with two pages giving more details about honey bees along with several references. These pages will give parents and teachers enough information to augment the picture captions. This book is sheer enjoyment for all ages. --Ann Harman, Pres. of Virginia State Beekeepers Assn.

Vibrant colors, lyrical rhyming couplets, and accurate science all make this NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2010 ideal to share with younger students. By peeking inside a tree, you can watch a wild colony of honey bees working together, each doing a specific job. The illustrations, supplemental text, and photos at the end of the book will lure stronger readers and more curious young scientists back again and again.

Despite its target audience, both text and illustrations have been rated highly accurate by biologists and beekeepers. Teachers will use this book to illustrate life cycles, model good observational skills before nature walks, and encourage enthusiastic informational reading. The book includes a supplemental bibliography and list of websites for teachers and students. --NSTA Recommends, Suzanne Flynn, Gr. 4, College Adjunct Teacher, JASON Academy Instructor

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dawn Pubns (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584691158
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584691150
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lorinda Titus on March 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just read this to my daughter last night, and I consider it an excellent book. It was well-designed for a wide range of reading abilities, and I think that ages 4-12 is accurate, given the illustrations and information provided.

I have been a beekeeper since 1996. I am usually pretty disappointed by books written at a child's level regarding honeybees, finding they are either too basic, too fantastic, or simply inaccurate.

Not so with this book!

First of all - I cannot speak highly enough of the illustrations. I have seen a lot of hand-drawn honeybees in my time, and they inevitably end up looking like flys. Cris actually sat down with a wild hive in her own backyard, and managed to capture the look of the honeybee both in flight and while standing still. Trust me, that is a lot harder than it sounds!

Then comes the information presented. Please understand, not only do I read to my daughter every night, but I am a bookworm myself, and have been since I could read. I have not seen a book written like this before.

First of all, each illustration has a rhyming couplet in large type, suitable for younger readers. The title is a perfect example of this. (In the Trees, Honey Bees!). More than this, though, is a more detailed explanation on each page, suitable for older readers who want to know more, and presented in a way that does not interfere with the overall look of the book. For a top-of-the-class reader, the last two pages of the book holds even more information, presented with actual photos, and complete with a recommended reading list.

My daughter loved the illustrations, like the couplets, and asked questions when I read the more detailed explanations to her. She was definitely engaged by this book. I am recommmending "In the Trees, Honey Bees" to my customers, and plan to carry it on our bookshelf.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Butler on April 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
This little book is a gem-the colors are so vibrant, and I just love the artwork. I showed it to an artist friend and his jaw dropped when he saw the honeycomb in perspective, saying "now there's an artist who knows how to draw - that's no computer generated image!" Don't tell any librarians, but I want to take out the pages and FRAME them! A great book to read to little ones, and I learned a lot, too-I really appreciate it when a children's book also has appeal for the adult who is reading it aloud, over, and over, and over, again! This one's a classic!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By VS Grenier Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on June 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
REVIEWED BY: Wayne S. Walker, reviewer with Stories for Children Magazine

Have you ever heard of someone being described as being "busy as a bee"? Well, exactly what do bees do to stay so busy? Entomologists tell us that there are three kinds of honeybees in a hive: workers, drones, and the queen. All the workers are female, all the drones are male, and the queen lays all the eggs. Worker bees begin as eggs and then become larvae that are fed by nurse bees. During their lives, the 15,000 to 30,000 worker bees in a hive have several different jobs. First, they collect nectar from older workers returning from the field. Then they begin producing wax to build honeycomb cells. Their next task is to guard the colony. Finally, they begin the work of flying to collect nectar and pollen.

In the Trees, Honey Bees is another "Sharing Nature with Children Book" from Dawn Publications. Author Lori Mortensen does a wonderful job of explaining all these facts about honeybees on a level that young children can easily understand by using a poetic style that kids will enjoy reading and featuring fun facts in sidebars throughout the book. Additionally, there are a couple of pages at the back entitled "The Buzz about Honeybees," which provides more information for curious young minds. Did you know that there are over 25,000 species of bees but that only nine species can make honey? The lifelike illustrations by Chris Arbo give the reader a close-up view of what goes on in a beehive. In the 1920s, the phrase "the bee's knees" was commonly used to mean "excellent or the highest quality." This book is certainly "the bee's knees"!
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Format: Paperback
Here's the truth: I'm prejudiced against small presses. Why? I've been given a lot of freebies from small publishers. For the most part, there is a reason why a book is only published by a small press; big presses aren't impressed and the book is passed on. So I anticipated that this book would be a bust.

Not so. This one is a keeper. Brilliant illustrations. Terse yet action filled text. Additional information provided for those who want to know more. A nice bibliography.

And the children loved it. Ten, they shouted, when I asked for ratings, and I had to remind them that five was a top score. I can't wait to share this with teachers and other kids. It will be checked out. A lot.
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By Amazon Customer on July 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been thinking about bees a lot lately because of all the different kinds in my garden. This book does an excellent job of teaching kids (and grown-ups) about honey bees and what they do. There are lots of non-fiction books for kids that teach the basic information about those interesting insects, but this one gives more details than any others I've seen and does so in a style that will hold the attention of young readers. The illustrations are lovely and scientifically accurate, too. I'll probably never enjoy the taste of honey again without thinking of this book.
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