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Review of Give Bees a Chance

Give Bees a Chance
by Bethany Barton; illus. by the author
Primary    Viking    40 pp.    g
4/17    978-0-670-01694-5    $16.99

The main character of this book — a cartoon boy named Edgar, eyes opened wide in amusingly fearful and skeptical facial expressions — definitely doesn’t like bees. This gives the (offstage) narrator an opportunity to make the case for bees’ importance, turning facts and figures about the insect into a funny, approachable pro-bee argument. The topics covered range from anatomy basics and how honey is made to what beekeepers do and the critical role bees play in pollinating crops. Detailed attention to bee stings — Edgar’s biggest fear — may not convince the bee-phobic to shed all their anxieties, but does explain why and how stings happen. The illustrations add to the casualness of the narrative, combining marker-like sketches of emotive bees and people with cheerful background splashes and scribbles of color, sometimes abstract, sometimes representing honeycombs and the flowers, fruits, and vegetables that depend so heavily on bees for their continued existence. The endpapers contain more-detailed and accurate images of many different bee species.

From the May/June 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford About Danielle J. Ford

Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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