There are few enough books written for very young children about honeybees that this beautiful book is worth a look.

READ REVIEW

BEE

NATURE'S TINY MIRACLE

From the Peek-Through Picture Books series

A hexagonal, die-cut window frames a honeybee as she scouts for nectar and then informs her hive of forage.

Teckentrup’s mixed-media illustrations are the star of this picture book, depicting fields of poppies, daisies, and more, the bee always at the center of the die-cut peephole, which gets smaller as the pages turn. Hegarty’s text, in rhyming couplets, is serviceable; nothing more. “Gathering nectar as she goes, / From every foxglove, every rose. / Dusty with pollen, the little bee / Buzzes, buzzes, busily.” It is occasionally misleading, as when it tells readers that the bee is “harvesting flowers” rather than nectar. When Bee happens upon a field with “too many flowers for just one bee,” Teckentrup’s double-page spread depicts a riot of flowers, the printlike textures of the flowers’ petals overlapping one another with a wonderfully smudgy effect that echoes the grains of pollen the bee carries with her. Unfortunate license is taken with the depiction of the hive, which looks like the wasps’ nest too often mistaken for a beehive. Still, the book’s heart is in the right place, as it describes pollination (though not its role in plant reproduction) and makes sure to inform readers that “So many plants and flowers you see / Were given life by one small bee.”

There are few enough books written for very young children about honeybees that this beautiful book is worth a look. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84869-288-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here.

ONE LOVE

A sugary poem, very loosely based on the familiar song, lacks focus.

Using only the refrain from the original (“One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel all right!”), the reggae great’s daughter Cedella Marley sees this song as her “happy song” and adapts it for children. However, the adaptation robs it of life. After the opening lines, readers familiar with the original song (or the tourism advertisement for Jamaica) will be humming along only to be stopped by the bland lines that follow: “One love, what the flower gives the bee.” and then “One love, what Mother Earth gives the tree.” Brantley-Newton’s sunny illustrations perfectly reflect the saccharine quality of the text. Starting at the beginning of the day, readers see a little girl first in bed, under a photograph of Bob Marley, the sun streaming into her room, a bird at the window. Each spread is completely redundant—when the text is about family love, the illustration actually shows little hearts floating from her parents to the little girl. An image of a diverse group getting ready to plant a community garden, walking on top of a river accompanies the words “One love, like the river runs to the sea.”

Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0224-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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