A bee rejects busyness for meditation.
Oppressed by the hustle and bustle of the hive, Bentley yearns for quiet. One day he sits down on a daffodil and begins to meditate. This unusual practice draws other bees as well as the birds and animals that frequent the garden, and when Bentley becomes aware of them, he explains his unusual behavior: “Sometimes I have too many thoughts in my head. / Meditation can help me stay focused instead.” Soon he’s got the other animals meditating, encouraging them to “focus on your breathing” instead of stray thoughts. This changes the culture of the garden: “Now, before the animals burrow, build, or pollinate, / they gather in the garden to sit and meditate.” Two-plus pages of dense text close the book, offering tips to caregivers to help their children with mindfulness and meditation. While the selection of a bee as guide is artfully counterintuitive, it also opens the book up to some common pitfalls. Readers who know anything about bees will probably know that male bees aren’t particularly busy, so the choice of a drone as rebel is inaccurate. Moreover, the “hive” depicted in Keay’s bland, pastel cartoons is not a hive but a wasps’ nest—a common mistake. Leaving biology aside, the rhyming couplets are painfully forced.
There are plenty of reasons to pass on this one. (Picture book. 3-7)