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UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings Hardcover – March 6, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442426527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442426528
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 9.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The latest in Florian’s series of poetry books spotlighting animals, this attractive volume features bees. From the opening “Welcome, Welcome to Our Hive!” to the closing verse, which notes the diminishing number of bees, the poems comment on topics such as body structure, life cycles, roles in the hive, and dance-like communication. Early books in the series simply offered illustrated poetry, while more recent volumes include appended sections with a paragraph of facts related to each poem. Here the facts appear alongside the verse, an arrangement that works well because knowledge enlarges the experience of reading the verse and helps the information stick. Brief lists of recommended books and websites are appended. Although some of the rhyming poems seem humdrum, others express the bees’ point of view in a playful way that makes them fun to read aloud or even to memorize. Illustrating each selection is a full-page picture. Created in a style reminiscent of children’s art, these collages combine elements such as gouache paint, colored pencils, and printed pieces. A nice mix of wordplay and science. Grades 2-5. --Carolyn Phelan

Review

"Florian (Poetrees, 2010, etc.) bestows yet another pleasing mix of punny poems and colorful collages that blend whimsy and fact.... Spreads like "Swarm" epitomize Florian's skill at combining pithy rhymes, well-chosen facts and playfully tongue-in-cheek pictures.... Design is crisp.... Florian shines again here."

--Kirkus Reviews, March 6, 2012

“Another winning compendium…. Cheerful anthropomorphized caricatures of honeybees accompany upbeat, rhyming wordplay and factual notes in the artist’s familiar style…. “All day we bees/Just buzz and buzz./That’s what we duzz/And duzz and duzz.” The book is just what Florian duzz and will be welcomed by his fans.”

School Library Journal, February 2012

"Working in gouache, colored pencils, and collage on paper bags, Florian evokes the world of bees with repetitive patterning that cleverly references their honeycombs and the fields of flowers they frequent as well as the bees themselves—worker bees are sisters hatched from eggs laid two thousand at a crack. His rhythmic verse, too, echoes bee behavior, as much with sound as with sense (“I’m a nectar collector. / Make wax to the max. / A beehive protector. / I never relax”). Puns and other wordplay enliven the text (“Why are we full / Of fuzz and fuzz? / Bee-cuzz bee-cuzz / The fuzz the fuzz / Helps pollen stick / To uzz to uzz”). A paragraph of more straightforward facts elucidates each spread, but the real energy here is in the deceptively casual art. A regal queen bee looks almost human, and drones resemble feckless kids, while captions of discretely scattered capitals provide as much texture as information…an offbeat and attractive book, completed with a “BEEbliography.”

The Horn Book, March/April 2012

“Poetic chronicler of the natural world Florian takes on a more tightly focused subject than usual, winging his way through the world of the honeybee in fourteen rhyming poems…a bee brags of being her “own pollen nation” in “Summer Hummer,” while the onomatopoeic “Bees Buzz” will have kids bzzing their way through the day. A bibliography—sorry, “BEEbliography”—and a couple of web links for further reading are included.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, March 2012

“In this high-spirited and lyrical homage to bees, smudgy paintings that resemble a child's chalkboard drawings pair with collage elements to tenderly anthropomorphize the insects…. Florian also includes descriptions of bee behavior ("One of bees' most important roles in nature is a process called pollination"), which add a touch of biology to his tableaus.”

Publishers Weekly, February 27, 2012

“The latest in Florian’s series of poetry books spotlighting animals, this attractive volume features bees…. Here the facts appear alongside the verse, an arrangement that works well because knowledge enlarges the experience of reading the verse and helps the information stick…some of the rhyming poems…express the bees’ point of view in a playful way that makes them fun to read aloud or even to memorize…. A nice mix of wordplay and science.”

Booklist, April 1, 2012

More About the Author

Douglas Florian is the creator of many acclaimed picture books including Dinothesaurus, which received starred reviews in four major publications, Comet, Stars, The Moon and Mars, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year and Horn Book Fanfare List selection; Bow Wow Meow Meow, winner of the Gryphon Award and a Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year; and Lizards, Frogs and Polliwogs, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book. He lives and works in New York and has read his poetry at Carnegie Hall, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Poets House, and The White House.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
Beautifully illustrated and written!
M. Buehl
Good addition to the hoe or school library.
deeper waters
My favorite poem is the Waggle Dance.
Jennifer Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alcee Arobin VINE VOICE on March 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a beautifully illustrated book completely devoted to honeybees. Each drawing is accompanied by a poem that deals with a particular aspect of the honeybee's hive and life patterns. At the bottom of each page, below the poem, a brief blurb provides a more direct and scientific explanation of the poem's content. Some of the facts I remembered (Magic School Bus, anyone?), but plenty of it was new to me.

Highly recommended for kids interested in insects or poetry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sherry Barr VINE VOICE on April 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"unBEElievables" isn't likely a book that most young children would read in one sitting. With the turn of each page, there is a theme (Queen Bee, Drone Bees, Worker Bees, etc.) that everything on the two pages that are viewed supports. On one page is outstanding illustrations and on the other is a poem about the theme and then a short educational paragraph about the theme. I can imagine unveiling this book over a series of readings, as children gradually learn more and more about the important lives and function of honeybees. In its entirety, children learn some important facts about bees and their important function in our lives. I highly recommend this book for not only its educational value, but also its poetry and illustrations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CCGal VINE VOICE on March 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is beautifully filled with prose and child-friendly illustrations. For grades Kindergarten through fourth, I would recommend this as an elementary school teacher. It works wonderfully to explain everything necessary to understand honeybees, their life, their hives, and how they produce honey. At the end of the book the author even talks about the disappearance of hives and bee populations. Each poem gives students a way to remember the essentials of honeybees and is followed up by an information box that talks about the science behind honeybees. The illustrations are child-friendly, but not overly detailed, hence the four star instead of five star rating. They are cute, but some are boring or too open to keep younger students interested in the pictures. That's OK though, because the poems are short and to the point. An excellent addition to any elementary classroom for science and poetry. A good cross-curricular resource book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joan Kosnosky on May 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My students and I read about UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings in our Time for Kids magazine. I told the class I would get a copy of this book so we could read it together. When I received the book, it gave me an idea for a unit on insects. We studied each page of the book noting the rhyme and rhythm of the poem. Facts about bees were included on the page. We discovered that the poet incorporated his research into each poem. Each student researched an insect, then wrote and illustrated a poem about that insect. We "published" the poems in a class book. Great way to integrate language, science and art into one project!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Buehl VINE VOICE on March 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Don't expect a bedtime story out of this book. The title is pretty clear, "poems and paintings", and in this sense it delivers!
Beautifully illustrated and written! This book is truly a work of art.
This would be an excellent supplement to any bee curriculum. I'd suggest them be read one at a time/per sitting, to fully appreciate and soak in the lesson. A few examples of pages/poems are: Queen Bee, Waggle Dance, Pollen and Where are the Bees? I love that there is a short fact/deeper info given below each poem that correlates with the theme. This book is excellently designed to deliver information to children.
Bravo!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen S. Turner on December 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Perfect for the nonfiction section of my library! i have personally used it for lessons and find it to be entertaining and informative. Great work for use in school and may have to get one as a gift for my beekeeper friend. I do believe she'd love it too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Miller VINE VOICE on December 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My daughter is 6 and is at a stage where she just loves animals and especially any books about them. This one in particular she was drawn to because she had just seen an IMAX movie on bees. She really enjoys the artwork and collection of poems on the different aspects of bees. It's amazing what she can tell you about them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laurie E. Olson on November 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My granddaughter enjoyed reading it and learning about bees. She likes poetry. We have a joke between us that she is my little bumblebee.
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