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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Please Please the Bees, by Gerald Kelley. Albert Whitman and Company, Thomas Allen & Son. 2017. $24.99 ages 3 and up

"Benedict became
deeply discouraged.
Just then he heard
someone say, "Hey,
you! In the fur coat!"
It was a very small
bee with a remarkably
loud voice. "We need
to talk!" said the bee.
"Talk? Hmmmph!"
grumbled Benedict."

Oh, my! Benedict loves nothing more than honey. It is on his toast in the morning and in his tea at bedtime. He is one content bear when there is honey on the menu. He loves it when his days go from one familiar thing to the next. He is ill-prepared for a life-changing event.

On the day when NO honey is delivered, and a visiting bee carries an important message about a strike, Benedict's life changes in an instant, causing great consternation for the overindulged bear. Not one thing goes right all day long. He is unimpressed when another bee comes to plead their case. He has no need for talk, until ...

The bee explains that having Benedict's yard to live in is not enough. Their hive is a mess.

"It's all we can do to keep the walls from falling in!
The roof leaks. Winds blow through the cracks.
The last three queens up and quit on us because
of the lousy working conditions."
And that is not all! The yard is overgrown with weeds, no flowers in sight. To strike is the only feasible result of the neglect. It gets Benedict to thinking on how he might help to make things better.
He is a quick study and the results of his work are quite remarkable.

The pace for the story is perfect for little ones, the characters are engaging, and the artwork is often funny, and full of emotion. There is much for readers to see and to learn as they share this plea to please the bees!

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