A thieving squirrel upsets bees who use acorn shells in this rhyming vocabulary sequel from the team of Martin and Walstead (Two Bees on the High Seas, 2018).
Perk, Bing, and their redheaded Mother Bee live in an oak tree, where bees collect the honey dripping from their hive in acorn bowls. Because they only use the shells, the nuts are wasted, set aside to dry and crack. When a squirrel discovers the bees’ acorns, he believes he’s hit the jackpot and takes them to his tree. The dismayed bees look everywhere until Perk and Bing spot the culprit. When the bees confront the squirrel, they learn he was only taking the acorns to feed his family. The bees realize that they’ve been wasteful, and the squirrels agree they only need the nuts, not the shells, resulting in a deal. The idea of striking a balance and sharing resources with neighbors is appealing. But young readers may question why the bees gather their honey in acorn buckets. While the cartoon creatures are suitably kid-friendly, children may wonder why Mother Bee, Perk, and Bing are working without the hard hats most of the other insects sport. In addition, adults may be annoyed at the only-girls-have-eyelashes shortcut used to identify female characters.
With consistently scanning rhymes, this tale may charm young readers looking for a silly forest adventure.