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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Follow That Bee! : A First Book of Bees in the City. By Scot Ritchie. Kids Can, 2019. $16.99 ages 6 and up

"Back in Mr. Cardinal's
yard, the friends watch
the bees at work. In a
hive, every bee has a job,
and they work together.
No one bee can survive
on its own.

"They have chores to do
around the house ... "

Bees are a hot topic in nonfiction for kids these days. So, I was interested to see this new book in the Exploring Our Community series by Scot Ritchie. It is the sixth book in the series that takes five friends into their own community to find out how it works. 

In this book about beekeeping, the five (Nick, Pedro, Martin, Sally, and Yulee) are pretty excited to be visiting with Mr. Cardinal, who is Martin's neighbor. He has backyard beehives and wants to share his knowledge about the bees that live there.

Full spreads of detailed scenes with a side bar of text describing the action, plus a section in bold font to provide pertinent information, help young readers learn what they need to know about the bees, their hives, what they need to do their work successfully. The kids visit a garden center where they choose natural plants for their community, and where they learn about the colors that attract the bees, and how pollinator gardens are grown. Dandelions get a special mention  ... which is good given they are blooming in backyards, playgrounds and boulevards in abundance at the moment.

Mr. Cardinal goes on to help the children learn to recognize what is, and what is not, a bee. The children learn about the jobs bees do as they work together, the anatomy of a bee, the dance they do to let the other bees know where to find food. It ends with learning how to care for a bee sting, and watching Mr. Cardinal gather the honey from the frame before selling it at market.

This is a comprehensive and accessible book for its target audience. Readers will enjoy the illustrations and be proud of all they have learned.

Other available titles are: Follow That Map!, Look at That Building!, Look Where We Live!, See What We Eat! and See How We Move!. All are worthy additions to a classroom library, or the library of any child wanting to know more about such things.

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