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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on September 3rd, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 26 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 26

What Kids are Reading: These Bees Count!

By Alison Formento - recommended for ages 4 to 7

REVIEW BY RYAN MILLER


When Mr. Tate’s class arrives at a farm for a field trip, it takes the students a while to figure out what the main crop is. There are fields bursting with flowers and trees covered in blossoms, but bouquets and fruit aren’t what Farmer Ellen harvests. The children soon learn that the blooms are there to feed bees, which busily turn the nectar into honey. Once the kids are dressed in protective suits (the farm must play host to a lot of field trips to have so many child-sized outfits on hand), they head into bee territory to see the industrious insects in action. A few puffs of smoke into the hive later, and the bees are on their way into the sky, providing a sort of counting narrative that takes the listening children up through the numbers as well as through the process of pollination and honey production.

While the bees are literally counting in this story’s whimsical take on how this slice of nature works, the title also refers to the fact that bees matter. Their work brings life to crops and produces a sweet treat that people can enjoy. Alison Formento breaks from the simple words of the main text to provide more information about bees—and their current threat by Colony Collapse Disorder—at the end of the story. Aspiring apiculturists will find it all fascinating, and they may just be inspired to look into a line of work that doesn’t land on many kids’ wish lists: beekeeper!