These Bees Count!

Alison Formento, illus. by Sarah Snow. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-7868-1

The sequel to This Tree Counts! follows Mr. Tate’s class on a field trip to an apiary. Like its predecessor, the story is anchored by a counting poem, in this case one that imagines gathering pollen from a bee’s-eye view (“We find three wild strawberries bursting with sweetness./ Four apple blossoms tickle us with soft petals”) and shows that many flowering plants depend on bees. Decked out in beekeeper suits, the students learn from the friendly apiary workers about how bees make honey and how it is extracted from combs. Formento’s fresh, crisp digital images bring visual variety to the message about the importance of bees in food chains. An afterword provides additional information and discusses colony collapse disorder. Ages 4–7. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Libby Snow, Artist Representative. (Mar.)