A Taste of Honey

Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, Author, Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, Illustrator Winslowhouse International $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-890817-51-0
Lily the cub has a sticky question for her Poppy: ""Where does honey come from?"" Poppy tries to quell Lily's inquisitiveness with the most obvious reply, ""Well, we just spooned it out of this jar."" But by book's end, Lily's recurring refrains of ""Before that?"" have taken her and Poppy back through every step of honey production, all the way to the hive of apis mellifera (Latin for honeybee). Informative sidebars substantiate each of Poppy's concise responses; for instance, the spread that explains, ""It was whirled around and around in a honey extractor,"" shows a diagram of an extractor with its parts clearly labeled. Wallace's (Apples, Apples, Apples) cut-paper illustrations also detail the netting of a beekeeper's hat, the pattern of the worker-bee dances that lead their fellow workers to a hive, and the bees themselves, their bold yellow and black stripes offset by gauzy wings. She thus conveys a wealth of information (even the Japanese, Swahili and Indonesian words for honey appear on a final spread). Though the design occasionally distracts from the information presented, Wallace strikes a balance between packing visual wallop and collecting fascinating factoids. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
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