When my daughter was younger she was terrified of bees, and I do mean terrified. When a bee came around she ceased to be a sensible and normally quite brave child, and she became a crying wreck. I have since discovered that many children are terrified of buzzing insects, and they think that the only way to deal with bees is to kill them as quickly as possible.
In today's picture book you will meet a little girl who is terrified of bees, and a bee who is terrified of little girls. For once, children will see things from a different point of view, and they might even consider that perhaps bees aren't all that terrible after all.
Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant
For ages 4 to 6
Tricycle Press, 2011, 978-1-58246-299-8
One day a girl goes out all by herself to pick berries so that she and her mother can make “sweet jam,” which she can put on her toast. The girl starts picking, braving the scratchy berry canes, but she cannot help feeling afraid of the bees who are buzzing around the sweet berries. Her mother tells her to hold still and she explains that the bees are there to collect the nectar.
All goes well until the girl comes nose to nose with a bee. She is scared, but she remembers her mother’s words and holds still.
On this same day a bee decides to go off on its own to collect nectar so that it can make honey when it gets home. The bee is afraid of the huge humans who are around, but it remembers what its mother told it, that people want berries not bees.
The bee is happily collecting nectar when it comes face to face with a human. The bee is scared, but it remembers to fly away. There are “plenty of vines for us to share,” it thinks.
This sweetly simple yet meaningful picture book shows young readers that they can peacefully coexist with insects, and that they can easily share nature’s bounty with them. Presented from the point of view of both the child and the bee, this book will help adults teach their children that it is important to respect all livings things, even little creatures that buzz.