The King of Bees
The King of Bees
Publisher's Hardcover15.56
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Annotation: Henry can't wait to get a bee suit of his own so he can help his Aunt Lilla with the sister bees, but she says he must wait until he is older.
Catalog Number: #158908
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: LaMarche, Jim,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-561-45953-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-561-45953-7
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2017022430
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Henry and his aunt Lilla live on a farm in the South Carolina Lowcountry, and he happily helps with chores on their small patch of land, which contains the farmhouse, clothesline, henhouse, garden, marsh area with rowboat, and, of course, the beehives. More than anything else, Henry is fascinated by the bees. He watches Aunt Lilla closely as she calms the bees with smoke and speaks softly to the "girls." She explains how the sister bees clean the hive, collect food, and make honey. Henry feels connected to the bees, humming and dancing to try to communicate with them. A close encounter with the hive almost has dire consequences, but Henry proves he is ready to take an active role in beekeeping. Sweetly nostalgic ink-and-watercolor illustrations could depict the past or the present and offer an atmospheric complement to the gentle, warm, and informative text. An author's note provides further factual information about honeybees and their significant role in the human food production system.
Kirkus Reviews
Henry learns a lesson in responsibility and nature in this quiet tale of love and honeybees.Henry lives with his aunt Lilla in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Lilla's home is a small farm, and the two rely on honey from their beehives and eggs for their henhouse for added income. Henry is fascinated by the honeybees, and he accompanies his aunt whenever possible to watch her work the hives. As Lilla works, she explains the behavior and habits of the bees to Henry, but he's still too young to help. On his own one day during swarm season, Henry puts on her beekeeping suit so he can visit the hives and help the bees discover the swarm box that Lilla has set up. While putting on Lilla's beekeeping suit, Henry spills a bottle of "bee drops" (a mysterious liquid that has a pleasing smell to honeybees) on the suit. The bee drops attract the swarm to the much-too-large suit, and Lilla is able to capture it. It's in this resolution that the story stumbles, as, for all of Lilla's explanations of beekeeping, the bee drops go undefined. The sentimental author's note does not fill in that gap. LaMarche's artwork, a vibrant combination of watercolor and ink, glows and will make many readers want to visit Aunt Lilla's home.Visually lovely and tonally appealing, this book will be best used when additional information is available to help with questions. (Picture book. 6-8)
Publishers Weekly
Laminack (Three Hens and a Peacock) proffers a gentle tale full of Southern charm about a boy whose aunt is a beekeeper. Henry is fascinated by his Aunt Lilla-s hives and by the rapport she has with her bees. -Sister bees hum when they-re working,- she explains. -If they have news to tell, they do their talking-dance.- There-s a queen, she tells him, but no king. Henry-s awkward attempts to help his -sisters- and his aunt culminate in a chance to save her hive in an unexpected way-an occasion that calls for Henry to stay calm when he becomes covered with bees. Aunt Lilla is independent, knowledgeable about the creatures she keeps, and able to explain complicated concepts to Henry in a way he (and readers) can understand. LaMarche (Pond) dwells on the beauty of the South Carolina Lowcountry. His ink-and-watercolor spreads are light and dreamy, with evocative sunrise shades and detailed looks at beekeeping equipment and the bees themselves. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

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ALA Booklist (3/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Word Count: 1,392
Reading Level: 3.7
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.7 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 195839 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.4 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q73007
Lexile: AD600L
Guided Reading Level: O
Fountas & Pinnell: O

A gentle intergenerational tale for young readers about the importance of patience and the fascinating work of beekeeping. From award-winning author Lester Laminack and celebrated illustrator Jim Lamarche.

A gentle tale full of Southern charm[LaMarches] ink-and-watercolor spreads are light and dreamy, with evocative sunrise shades and detailed looks at beekeeping equipment and the bees themselves. Publishers Weekly

Informative and visually dazzling. School Library Journal

Henry wants nothing more than to be like his Aunt Lilla and work with the beehives on their Lowcountry farm. He watches her every day, working hard outside in her bee suit, but what amazes him the most is her ability to communicate with the bees. Henry feels certain he can, too. Then one day, Aunt Lilla tells him the bees are preparing to leave the hive and may leave the farm entirely. Henry believes it is up to him to communicate with the bees and convince them to stay, before its too late.

An authors note includes additional information about bees and bee conservation.

Teachers Guide available!

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