A colorful introduction to the honeybee.
Paired with stunning photographs, many in extreme close-up, straightforward text informs readers about honeybees and their hives. The text, aimed at newly independent readers, works hard to be accessible: a worker bee “sips the runny nectar through her straw-like tongue and stores it in a special, just-for-honey tummy.” A small, circular callout adds that the “tongue is called a proboscis (pro-bohs-kis).” The connection between that nectar and the honey the bees are arguably best known for is elided, however, in favor of a brief overview of the role of the queen, larval development, and a teaser about the fact that “hives can be found in unusual places,” including “human-made hives.” Six pages of additional text at a somewhat more advanced level discuss the different roles worker bees play, honey (finally), and pollination (wrongly implying that honeybees pollinate tomatoes). A simple maze and a mystifying diagram of the waggle dance conclude the book; both activities are negligible. But the reason to buy this book is the photographs, crisp, astonishingly detailed, and many at such close range that individual grains of pollen can be easily discerned; they, more than the text, will have readers rapt.
Serviceable text is lifted by thrilling photography. (Informational early reader. 4-8)