I want bees. I also want chickens but those are taking a backseat to my interest in beekeeping lately. This has been fueled by a few things: a Texan friend who began exploring the idea, our greater consumption of honey as the primary source of sugar used in this house, my love of all things beeswax, and this fantastic children’s book that made my beekeeping itch go rabid:
The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi. This is an excellent example of a “living book”. And these types of course, should live in abundance on your shelves. Published last year, this book caught me with the illustrations done in scrap collage style. It is the story of Fred, an apiarist in Brooklyn. That’s right, Brooklyn. Fred loves his bees and shows you the ins and outs of tending them. Urban beekeeping truly can happen! I need to do some research and save some money and talk to the fine folks who offer beginner classes… but I hope to make this dream a reality soon. Maybe 2013 will be my year as it’s already springtime and I’m behind the curve. At any rate, there are lots of books out there on the bee theme. Here I mention what I think are the very best:
The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco. Frolic the countryside with the pastoral imagery that Polacco captures so well.
The Life and Times of the Honeybee by Charles Micucci. A very fun, colorful, informative book on all things related to bees! Would make an excellent spine for a unit study.
The Honeybee and the Robber by Eric Carle. A sweet, moveable flap book that showcases Carle’s signature style… especially good for young readers.
The Bee-Man of Orn by Frank Stockton. Truth be told, I found the story here a little bit strange… just a little left of center on how I like my fantasy books. But the artwork, by the very talented P.J. Lynch is stunning. So thoughtful and detailed and otherworldly… it’s worth the read for sure.
Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.
-James Russell Lowell