CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 23. . . .February 15, 2013
This informational picture book follows the gardening pursuits of a family throughout a year. In the spring, Matthew and Sophie are eager to plant pumpkin seeds in their urban community garden Their grandfather explains that the seeds need two crucial things to thrive: heat and bees. In a conversational tone, the book poses the questions: "Are there bees in the big city? Will they find the children's garden?" While the family walks downtown, hundreds of honeybees make a parallel journey. Many facts are seamlessly woven into the text: "Hidden in the tree, worker bees are raising a new queen. If the old queen and the new queen meet, they will fight to the death. Instead, the old queen and half of her workers fly away, out of the park, straight into the big city." Looking up into the skyline, the children discover a beekeeper's rooftop terrace with four hives of bees.
In the summer, the long awaited pumpkin planting time arrives. While the children and Grandpa tend their garden, the bees are busy gathering nectar and pollen. As the weeks go by, the plants grow large and have lush vines ("They look like butterflies"). The children learn about pollination and why bees are necessary for pumpkins to grow. In the fall, the beekeeper invites the children to taste the honey from the hives. They are delighted to discover that "[t]he honey tastes like pumpkin!" In the winter, "the big red hive is quiet," and the children hope the bees will come again next year.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.