Give Bees a Chance

Bethany Barton. Viking, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-670-01694-5
Barton (I’m Trying to Love Spiders) continues her campaign on behalf of creatures that send some people into a panic. Edgar has a scribble of curly hair and a nervous look—he’s the one with the bee problem. The unseen narrator’s enthusiastic, in-your-face lobbying on behalf of bees and what they are capable of is a big part of the book’s charm: “Maybe I just need to remind you how weird and cool a honeybee’s anatomy is.” Why doesn’t Edgar like bees? “Mostly because of their ‘stingers and attached venom sacs, which are the cause of painful bee stings,’ ” he confesses. Barton’s illustrations range from loose, cartoon-style sketches of bee encounters (Edgar got stung recently, and the image recapping the incident features labels that include “the ouch,” “brave tears,” “super mean bee”) to careful close-ups of different kinds of bees and their anatomical characteristics. Much like its predecessor, it’s an endearing mix of comedy and exuberantly delivered insider information: “A single bee can visit 1,000 flowers a day, making bee pollination powers unparalleled!” Ages 4–8. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017
Release date: 04/25/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-593-11372-1
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