Bee Books for Kids!
Educating our children about the importance of bees to our environment is essential to the preservation of an important insect. Here is a list of books courtesy of the Book Doctor at theguardian.com/.
James Maclaine’s Bees and Wasps is really designed for the classroom but it is just as useful as an introduction at home. It begins by naming all the parts of bees and wasps and simply describes the purpose of each. Even though the insects continue to look pretty ferocious – especially the hornet – knowing that the wiggly things on their heads are feelers that help them to smell and touch makes them seem a little less sinister. It also describes the vital role both bees and wasps play in pollination and therefore in giving us attractive flowers, before showing how bees make honey.
Steve Voake’s Insect Detective illustrated by Charlotte Voake is such a visually charming introduction to the wider world of insects including wasps and bees that it will disarm most children. In words and pictures, the book guides children to look closely at the many insects that live nearby but prefer to not to be seen. It makes them all, wasps and bees included, seem far more frightened than frightening.
But let’s face it, wasps (and hornets) are fairly difficult to present in a really positive light so wasps tend not to do well in stories. Bees do better.
In Edward Gibbs’s attractive picture book Little Bee, the Little Bee is fleeing from the hungry frog who is himself about to be eaten by a scary snake, who is itself trying to escape from the mean mongoose and so on. As the circle is completed it becomes clear that there is someone fleeing from the bee… the story doesn’t minimize the fact that the bee can sting but it shows that it is also at risk, which makes it seem far less unpleasant.
No one who has enjoyed Angela Banner’s many classic books about best-friends Ant and Bee can dislike bees all the time. Introduced first in Ant and Bee – with their initial letters so conveniently beginning this story and the other “alphabet” stories in the series such as Ant and Bee Go Shopping and Around the World with Ant and Bee – the two friends have a number of delightfully fanciful and largely human experiences which are very far removed from anything like stinging!