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  1 Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera
Author: Fleming, Candace Illustrator: Rohmann, Eric
 
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Class: 595.799
Age: 5-8
Language: English
Descriptors: Picture Book
Demand: Hot
LC: QL568.A6
Grade: K-3
ISBN-13: 9780823442850
LCCN: 2018030127
Imprint: Neal Porter Books
Publisher: Random House
Pub Date: 02/04/2020
Availability: Available
List: $18.99
  Hardcover
Physical Description: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 3 cm H 11.75", W 9.77", D 0.35", 1.15 lbs.
LC Series:
Brodart Sources: Brodart's For Youth Interest Titles
Brodart's For Youth Interest: Popular
Brodart's Fresh Reads for Kids TIPS Selections
Brodart's Insight Catalog: Children
Brodart's TOP Juvenile Titles
Bibliographies: Texas Bluebonnet Award Master Lists
Awards: BCCB Blue Ribbons
BCCB Starred Reviews
Booklist Editors Choice
Booklist Starred Reviews
Horn Book Guide Titles, Rated 1 - 4
Horn Book Starred Reviews
Kirkus Best Books
Kirkus Starred Reviews
Notable Children's Books, ALA
Publishers Weekly Starred Reviews
Robert F. Sibert Award Winners
School Library Journal Best Books
School Library Journal Starred Reviews
Starred Reviews: Booklist
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
TIPS Subjects: Insects/Spiders
Biology
Ecology/Environment
BISAC Subjects: JUVENILE NONFICTION / Animals / Insects, Spiders, etc.
JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Biology
JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Environmental Science & Ecosystems
LC Subjects: Bees
Bees, Juvenile literature
Honeybee
Honeybee, Juvenile literature
Insects
Insects, Juvenile literature
SEARS Subjects: Animals
Biology
Ecology
Reading Programs: Accelerated Reader Level: 4.2 , Points: 0.5
Lexile Level: 750
 
Annotations
Brodart's TOP Juvenile Titles | 02/01/2020
Publisher Annotation: Get up close and personal with Apis, one honeybee, as she embarks on her journey through life, complete with exquisitely detailed illustrations. 40pp.
Starred Reviews:
Booklist | 02/01/2020
Grades 1-4. Yet another picture book about bees? Yes, indeed! Glorious illustrations and engaging text combine to present readers with an up-close look at the life of a honeybee. The action jumps right in, beginning even before the title page, as a new bee chews her way out of her birth chamber and immediately starts working to support her hive. The present-tense text employs simple, straightforward sentences to describe her day-to-day development, with every page ending with the question "Is she going to fly now?" The answer remains "No!" for the first 25 days, until, finally, in a glorious four-page foldout, she soars away over a meadow. Ten days later, her time is up, and she peacefully curls up on the forest floor just as another honeybee is born. The vivid oil paint illustrations include minute details and, at times, seem indistinguishable from photographs. The pictures align perfectly with the text, showing the honeybee hard at work at various tasks. Back matter includes a physical diagram, ways humans can help bees, facts, trivia, and additional resources. Whether used to support inquiry projects or as a stunning storytime selection, this offering will captivate audiences. Kathleen McBroom. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2020.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books | 02/01/2020
R. 6-9 yrs. Even if the shelves sag with primary-grade books on the life cycle of the honeybee, make room for this exceptional offering. Oversized trim and a text artfully attuned to reading aloud work in harness together to rivet listeners as they follow Apis mellifera, nicknamed Apis throughout, as she "squirms, pushes, chews through the wax cap of her solitary cell and into . . . a teeming, trembling flurry." Job one is eating and strengthening her muscles. Is she ready to fly? Not yet. Every page turn brings a new task to complete as a team player in a busy hive, followed by the ever-delayed expectation, "Flying?" Not yet. There's tidying to be done, then nursing the larvae, tending the queen, building the comb, transferring food from a forager. These activities seem a bit mundane, but guard duty is something else again, especially when robber bees arrive and the battle is on. "The two grab hold of each other's legs. They curl their abdomens. They roll and grapple. Apis buzzes, bites, burrows. She is willing to give up her life to protect her nest and its honey." Eventually she does indeed fly, visiting "thirty thousand flowers . . . to make one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey. Her work is done." Rohmann's much larger than life oil paintings of so eventful a thirty-five-day life leave the audience momentarily bereft at the end of their intense involvement with personalized, but not anthropomorphized, Apis. New life emerging within the nest implicitly continues the story, though, and four pages of extensive back matter, including a large diagram on bee physiology, are on hand to guide further exploration. EB. 40p. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE UNIV. OF ILLINOIS, c2020.
Horn Book | 03/01/2020
Primary. A worker bee breaks out of her honeycomb cell and begins a task-filled life in her colony. The "teeming, trembling flurry" of bees within the close confines of the dark hive is impressively portrayed in Rohmann's honey-toned illustrations through extreme close-ups and varying perspectives on bee bodies. For the first twenty-four days of her life, the bee remains in the hive, tidying up, nursing larvae, grooming the queen, and performing other vital tasks, all while developing her own strength. With each stage of growth, the text builds anticipation through repetition: will the next stage be "Flying? / Not yet." Partway through the book, on day twenty-five, the bee finally emerges above a sunlit meadow on a four-page foldout; she flies into the next stage of existence as a pollinator. After ten days of nectar collection (during which she produces "one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey"), the bee dies, and a new bee emerges from a cell. As with the author-illustrator pair's Giant Squid (rev. 9/16), the art and text together convey a holistic view of environment and organism, with excellent pacing through the complete bee life cycle. A diagram of bee anatomy is appended, and a "Helping Out Honeybees" note discussing the importance of honeybees to human food production and threats to their existence, with a reading list and websites, concludes the book. Danielle J. Ford March/April 2020 p.101. 40pg. THE HORN BOOK, c2020.
Kirkus Reviews | 11/15/2019
As they did in Giant Squid (2016), Fleming and Rohmann give readers a deep dive into the biology of a creature so alien from humans it's hard to imagine we all live on the same planet. The long, free-verse poem begins to unfold in the frontmatter when the protagonist emerges from the wax cell that protected her during metamorphosis "into... / a teeming, trembling flurry. / Hummmmm!" Naming her subject Apis for her genus, Fleming describes in meticulous detail many of the myriad roles a worker honeybee plays in the colony, from cell preparation through nursing, queen tending, comb building, nectar receiving, honey curing, guarding, and scouting to, finally, foraging. She maintains narrative tension through artfully deployed delayed gratification, ending each topical spread by hinting that Apis' "new job" might involve "flying?" only to reveal a different nest-bound activity for Apis with a page turn. Rohmann rises to the challenge of a story set mostly in dark, confined quarters and a limited palette of black, brown, and honey yellow with stunning views of Apis and her sisters, each tiny hair and segment lovingly delineated. Neither text nor illustrations anthropomorphize their subject; Apis never complains. But an astonishing double gatefold depicts her finally flying over a field of purple and yellow wildflowers into an endless blue sky, liberating bee, creators, and readers alike. Several pages of backmatter offer further information about honeybees, online resources, and child-appropriate books. Like its subject, a wonder to behold. (Informational picture book. 5-10). 40pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2019.
Publishers Weekly | 12/09/2019
Ages 6-9. "Tongues lick./ Antennae touch." The brief but complex life of a Apis Mellifera-a worker honeybee-is explored with depth in this richly detailed picture book. Fleming uses lyrical language to describe just how jam-packed Apis's short life is-her jobs include cleaning the nursery, feeding "grub-like larvae," tending the queen, building comb, food handling, and guarding the hive. "At last, on the twenty-fifth day of her life... she leaps from the nest and... FLIES!" Apis lives only 10 days more: "She has visited thirty-thousand flowers. She has collected enough nectar to make one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey." Though "Apis stills," Fleming renders her humble life a mesmerizing wonder. Rohmann's realistic oil-on-paper illustrations artfully capture close-up details such as the glisten of transparent wings and the fine hairs covering a bee's body. An ending schematic identifies bee body parts, while supplemental materials offer more facts and details about helping the insects. (Feb.). 40p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2019.
School Library Journal | 01/01/2020
K-Gr 4. Prior to the title page, two full-page close-ups show a honeybee emerging from her wax cell. The free verse poem that runs through the entire book helps readers envision the start of this life cycle. The text and the accompanying illustrations work together masterfully. The vocabulary is precise and razor sharp: each word makes an impact, adding a crucial detail. The language also generates and sustains curiosity. Early on in the narrative, Fleming wonders if the honeybee is ready to fly, but the answer is "not yet." Other jobs come first--cleaning, nursing, queen tending, comb building, food handling, and guarding. The bee finally takes flight "on the twenty-fifth day of her life." It is worth the wait. Rohmann's illustrations make a dramatic transition. The previous oil-on-paper illustrations are amazingly detailed, large, and easy to examine. The warm colors of the hive (brown, black, yellow) show a safe, secure environment. But as Apis Mellifera peers out from the hive, the perspective radically changes, and a four-page gatefold of a sunny meadow with a field of flowers is visible. Readers follow the insect through each of her jobs until her end, where a new honeybee takes her place. It's an impressive cycle. VERDICT This book is nonfiction at its best--a combination of beautifully crafted language and astonishing close-up illustrations. Fleming displays admiration for honeybees and conveys enormous respect for their work. Myra Zarnowski, City University of New York. 40p. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2020.
Journal Reviews
Horn Book Guide | 04/01/2020
1. K-3. A worker bee breaks out of her honeycomb cell and begins a task-filled life in her colony. The teeming, trembling flurry of bees within the close confines of the dark hive is impressively portrayed in Rohmann's honey-toned illustrations through extreme close-ups and varying perspectives on bee bodies. For the first twenty-four days of her life, the bee remains in the hive, tidying up, nursing larvae, grooming the queen, and performing other vital tasks, all while developing her own strength. With each stage of growth, the text builds anticipation through repetition: will the next stage be Flying? / Not yet. Partway through the book, on day twenty-five, the bee finally emerges above a sunlit meadow on a four-page foldout; she flies into the next stage of existence as a pollinator. After ten days of nectar collection (during which she produces one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey), the bee dies, and a new bee emerges from a cell. As with the author-illustrator pair's Giant Squid (rev. 9/16), the art and text together convey a holistic view of environment and organism, with excellent pacing through the complete bee life cycle. A diagram of bee anatomy is appended, and a Helping Out Honeybees note discussing the importance of honeybees to human food production and threats to their existence, with a reading list and websites, concludes the book. djf. 40 pg. THE HORN BOOK, c2020.
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