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Monday, April 16, 2012


Happy National Poetry Month!  What better way to celebrate the rhyming season than with this adorable bee book written and illustrated by Douglas Florian, always a favorite of mine.  Florian has regaled us with poetry collections over the years celebrating trees, dinosaurs, seasons, insects, dogs and fish, and now tackles the honeybee.  The poems themselves are as clever as ever...

The Beekeepers are "the boys in the hood"...
"We're keeping the bees. 
  We fret and we fuss. 
  We're keeping the bees. 
  Or do they keep us?"

Bee-coming teaches us...
"From egg I hatch in just three days,
  Bee-ginning my new larval phase. 
  I dwell in a six-sided cell. 
  My cozy home bee-fits me well..."

And my favorite Summer Hummer plays with words delightfully...
"I'm the hummer of summer,
  So busy with buzz. 
  A never-humdrummer 
  All covered with fuzz..."

Florian takes us from bee anatomy through drones, queens and workers, to swarms, hives, honey, and pollen.  He even includes a scary poem about the all too real phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder. At the end of the collection is a BEEbliography as well for further reading.  Perhaps the most notable detail about the book 'beesides' the outstanding rhyme is the inclusion on each page of a snippet of information that provides just a wee bit more for bee fans.  We learn that all worker bees are 'sisters', that queen bees are fed royal jelly and that there are 20,000 known species of bees but fewer than ten known species of honeybees.  Food for thought! I highly recommend this honey of a book.

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