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Reviewed by Kristine Hall for Readers' Favorite
In Bees Like Flowers by Rebecca Bielawski, children will read along and learn as our happy young narrator shows readers, in a very simple and non-threatening way, that bees are worthy of a closer look. Author Rebecca Bielawski uses rhyme along with beautiful illustrations to explain the process of pollination and where bees live, and she throws in a few gentle words of caution about stings. In a supplemental section at the end, insects are defined and flowers shown in the story are identified, and there’s even an invitation to young readers to go back and find the flowers in the illustrations. Whether used as a read-aloud or for new readers to tackle alone, Bees Like Flowers is a fun and appealing teaching tool about the life of bees.
The rhyming is very well done and kudos to Bielawski for using simple phrases and easy to read print. There is a repeated use of “cos,” which could create some confusion since the target audience is children learning to read and it’s not a word. It sounds good when read aloud – though “‘cause” would have worked just as well -- but its use may need to be explained. The illustrations are what really put it over the top. This book is so cute that readers will want to hug it. For starters, the sweet-faced little girl narrating the story is precious and obviously precocious, and she’s not afraid to climb a tree or get her hands dirty as she tromps about nature. And NATURE! Nature is drawn so vividly and beautifully – the bees have soft, gentle expressions and are definitely represented as friends, not foes. While some of the flowers do have faces, others are drawn very realistically where children would be able to identify them in their own yards and gardens. Though the location isn’t ever specified, readers will want to immerse themselves in the lovely setting of Bees Like Flowers, and this book will be read again and again.