LONG LIST REVIEW: The Bee Book

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This beautiful information book is a wonderful introduction to the busy world of buzzy bees. Full of fascinating facts, there is so much to learn about these incredible, industrious creatures.

Did you know that one teaspoon of honey is the lifetime's work of 12 honey bees? Or that 1 in 3 mouthfuls of food that you eat has been made thanks to pollinators such as bees? Do you know what a 'waggle dance' is? Or why it is better to think of the queen bee as a 'super mum' than a queen? You can find answers to all of these questions and so much more in this book.

DK books are well known for their beautiful photographic illustrations, but this book is full of detailed, carefully labelled drawings, giving the book a slightly old-fashioned, charming look which works very well for this subject.

'The Bee Book' is perfect for inspiring cross curricular work. Strands of the Science Programme of Study for Years 4, 5 and 6 which ask children to group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment; to recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things; to describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird; to identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution and also work on pollination are all covered in this book. The plight of bees is so important that using them as a focus for study would also encourage environmental awareness in the next generation. 

The book also looks at what is behind the problem of bee decline and what would happen without bees, but it also suggests things that we can do to help. Making a bee hotel could form part of the design and technology lessons with children designing, making and evaluating their own which could find homes around the school. Using honey in cooking as a replacement for sugar and understanding where it has come from could be part of the cooking and nutrition work they cover.

There are also many writing opportunities which could stem from looking at this lovely book in class. Persuasive letters and leaflets, discussion writing  and oral debating, report writing, explanation texts/ diagrams, instructions and recounts could all naturally develop from different sections of the book and there are even narrative opportunities. 

A beautiful book which has so much to offer!

The Bee Book  Charlotte Milner

DK    ISBN: 978-0241305188