A solid addition to any classroom library, with the added bonus of a cast that’s wholly people of color. (Early reader. 6-9)

READ REVIEW

THE BROKEN BEES' NEST

BEEKEEPING

From the Makers Make It Work series

This entry in the Makers Make It Work series elucidates bee biology and beekeeping within an easy-to-read multicultural story.

While searching for the perfect tree to build their treehouse, Arun and his little sister, Keya, stumble upon a damaged feral bees’ nest in an oak. They turn to Dr. Chen, a neighbor who has beehives in her backyard and sells honey at the farmers market. Arun, Keya, and Dr. Chen work together to relocate the bees to another hive and then to harvest and bottle the honey from the original comb. In the end, Arun reclaims the tree for their treehouse and crowns his sister “Queen Bee.” The text is a bit heavy-handed here and there: “Arun checked with his parents first. When their dad said yes, they raced to Dr. Chen’s house.” While these didactic intrusions are well-meant, they weigh down the text, making the story less lively and zippy than the title and the illustrations by Ceolin would suggest. Still, the scientific information contained in both the narrative and supplementary inserts throughout, as well as the suggested “maker” activity in the backmatter (planting a bee-friendly garden), is top-notch. Notably, the feral hive is accurately depicted—a rarity. Arun and Keya’s family seem to be South Asian, and Dr. Chen is probably Chinese. Simultaneously publishing are series companions The Lost and Found Weekend, about sewing; Rocket Rivals , about rocketry; and Slime King, about chemistry.

A solid addition to any classroom library, with the added bonus of a cast that’s wholly people of color. (Early reader. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63592-113-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

In spite of the book’s flaws, dragons are very appealing, and tales for young audiences that model the scientific method are...

DRAGONS AND MARSHMALLOWS

From the Zoey and Sassafras series , Vol. 1

Zoey discovers that she can see magical creatures that might need her help.

That’s a good thing because her mother has been caring for the various beasts since childhood, but now she’s leaving on a business trip so the work will fall to Zoey. Most people (like Zoey’s father) can’t see the magical creatures, so Zoey, who appears in illustrations to be black, will have to experiment with their care by problem-solving using the scientific method to determine appropriate treatment and feeding. When a tiny, sick dragon shows up on her doorstep, she runs an experiment and determines that marshmallows appear to be the proper food. Unfortunately, she hadn’t done enough research beforehand to understand that although dragons might like marshmallows, they might not be the best food for a sick, fire-breathing baby. Although the incorporation of important STEM behaviors is a plus, the exposition is mildly clunky, with little character development and stilted dialogue. Many pages are dense with large-print text, related in Zoey’s not especially childlike voice. However, the inclusion in each chapter of a couple of attractive black-and-white illustrations of round-faced people and Zoey’s mischievous cat helps break up the narrative.

In spite of the book’s flaws, dragons are very appealing, and tales for young audiences that model the scientific method are nice to see. (Fantasy. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943147-08-3

Page Count: 96

Publisher: The Innovation Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more