YOU ARE A HONEY BEE! by Laurie Ann Thompson
ILLUSTRATOR: Jay Fleck
SERIES: Meet Your World
GENRE: Children’s Picture Book
PUBLISHER: Dial Books
RELEASE DATE: April 11, 2023
The first in an adorable, STEM nonfiction picture book series that encourages very young readers to learn—through gentle interactivity and play—about the animals who share their world
Swish, swoosh, fly! You might have heard the words “busy as a bee,” but what do bees actually do each day? Did you know bees clean their rooms, help feed baby bees, and build the hive they live in? From birth to first flight and beyond, discover all that goes into being a bee in this charming picture book, the first in the Meet Your World series.
This playful and informative series invites you to take a closer look at the amazing animals that live right alongside you in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes across North America. In each book, words and art inspire you to act out animal actions that are not so different from your own habits. And robust backmatter offers even more facts and fun. From the animals’ families and foods to their environments and behaviors, let’s meet your world!
Other Books In This Series
What a cute way to learn about honey bees! You are a Honey Bee! is a great resource for home libraries and classrooms, sure to please children and grown-ups alike. The endearing illustrations, bright colors, and interactive text frame a honey bee’s busy day so kiddos can have fun learning about these fascinating workers! In easy-to-understand words that are complemented by Fleck’s illustrations, Thompson explains how bees clean their cells, make honey, build the hive, guard the hive, search for food, sip up nectar, and tell other bees how to find the best flowers. She also accommodates the 7 different learning styles in creative ways, like encouraging movement that engages the imagination and reinforces the active words in the text. (Sip! Fly! Look! Dance! Sniff!)
How can you not love that little bee on the cover? Well, the rest of the illustrations are just as adorable and encompass not only the bees, the hive, and nature with vibrant colors and perceived motion… but also a variety of children. A child in a wheelchair. A child with hearing aids. A child with glasses. Black children. Asian children. Middle Eastern children. Children with blond hair. Children with red hair. Children with black hair and brown hair. Children with straight hair. Children with curly hair. I loved all the precious little ones represented so cutely on these pages.
Another favorite part for me is the back matter which provides for further learning and application. Along with a glossary and facts about why honey bees are important, there is a section with fun, guided activities for children to emulate the work of a honey bee. But as the daughter of a father who raised honey bees as a child, I most loved the list of ways we can all help honey bees survive and thrive.
Bottom Line: You Are a Honey Bee! by Laurie Ann Thompson (illustrated by Jay Fleck) is just as endearing on the inside as the cover would suggest. Appealing to a wide variety of learning styles, this picture book makes facts fun and encourages children – and adults – to apply what they learn from nature into their daily lives. The illustrations are adorable and diverse, the text is active and educational, and the back matter is informative and reflective. Fantastic choice for teachers, parents, and even cool aunts like me to add to their bookshelves.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
Laurie Ann Thompson grew up in the fields and forests of northern Wisconsin and now lives between the mountains and the sea in western Washington state. A master naturalist and former software engineer, she writes to help her readers—and herself—better understand the world we all share. She is co-author of the Two Truths and a Lie series and author of several award-winning nonfiction books, including the teen how-to guide, Be a Changemaker, and Emmanuel’s Dream, a picture book biography about Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, which won the Schneider Family Book Award and was named an ALA Notable Children’s Book and a CCBC Choice, among other accolades. Visit her online at lauriethompson.com.
Jay Fleck is the best-selling illustrator of more than a dozen books for kids, including the Tiny T. Rex series co-created with author Jonathan Stutzman and the Feel-Good Fairy Tales series, written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Verde. When not creating books, Jay lives, runs, and creates in a suburb south of Chicago with his wife, their two kids, and their loyal dog, Otis. Visit him online at jayfleck.com.
What about you? What makes you want to read You Are a Honey Bee! by Laurie Ann Thompson (illustrated by Jay Fleck)?