Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera
Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

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Annotation: Get up close and personal with Apis, one honeybee, as she embarks on her journey through life. The authors describe the life cycle of the hard-working honeybee and why bees are so important to agriculture and nature.
Genre: Biology
Catalog Number: #209266
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Holiday House
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Rohmann, Eric,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8234-4285-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7414-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8234-4285-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7414-7
Dewey: 595.79
LCCN: 2018030127
Dimensions: 30 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
A worker bee breaks out of her honeycomb cell and begins a task-filled life in her colony. The "teeming, trembling flurry" of bees within the close confines of the dark hive is impressively portrayed in Rohmann's honey-toned illustrations through extreme close-ups and varying perspectives on bee bodies. For the first twenty-four days of her life, the bee remains in the hive, tidying up, nursing larvae, grooming the queen, and performing other vital tasks, all while developing her own strength. With each stage of growth, the text builds anticipation through repetition: will the next stage be "Flying? / Not yet." Partway through the book, on day twenty-five, the bee finally emerges above a sunlit meadow on a four-page foldout; she flies into the next stage of existence as a pollinator. After ten days of nectar collection (during which she produces "one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey"), the bee dies, and a new bee emerges from a cell. As with the author-illustrator pair's Giant Squid (rev. 9/16), the art and text together convey a holistic view of environment and organism, with excellent pacing through the complete bee life cycle. A diagram of bee anatomy is appended, and a "Helping Out Honeybees" note discussing the importance of honeybees to human food production and threats to their existence, with a reading list and websites, concludes the book.
Publishers Weekly
-Tongues lick./ Antennae touch.- The brief but complex life of a Apis Mellifera-a worker honeybee-is explored with depth in this richly detailed picture book. Fleming uses lyrical language to describe just how jam-packed Apis-s short life is-her jobs include cleaning the nursery, feeding -grub-like larvae,- tending the queen, building comb, food handling, and guarding the hive. -At last, on the twenty-fifth day of her life... she leaps from the nest and... FLIES!- Apis lives only 10 days more: -She has visited thirty-thousand flowers. She has collected enough nectar to make one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.- Though -Apis stills,- Fleming renders her humble life a mesmerizing wonder. Rohmann-s realistic oil-on-paper illustrations artfully capture close-up details such as the glisten of transparent wings and the fine hairs covering a bee-s body. An ending schematic identifies bee body parts, while supplemental materials offer more facts and details about helping the insects. Ages 6-9. (Feb.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
K-Gr 4 Prior to the title page, two full-page close-ups show a honeybee emerging from her wax cell. The free verse poem that runs through the entire book helps readers envision the start of this life cycle. The text and the accompanying illustrations work together masterfully. The vocabulary is precise and razor sharp: each word makes an impact, adding a crucial detail. The language also generates and sustains curiosity. Early on in the narrative, Fleming wonders if the honeybee is ready to fly, but the answer is "not yet." Other jobs come firstcleaning, nursing, queen tending, comb building, food handling, and guarding. The bee finally takes flight "on the twenty-fifth day of her life." It is worth the wait. Rohmann's illustrations make a dramatic transition. The previous oil-on-paper illustrations are amazingly detailed, large, and easy to examine. The warm colors of the hive (brown, black, yellow) show a safe, secure environment. But as Apis Mellifera peers out from the hive, the perspective radically changes, and a four-page gatefold of a sunny meadow with a field of flowers is visible. Readers follow the insect through each of her jobs until her end, where a new honeybee takes her place. It's an impressive cycle. VERDICT This book is nonfiction at its besta combination of beautifully crafted language and astonishing close-up illustrations. Fleming displays admiration for honeybees and conveys enormous respect for their work. Myra Zarnowski, City University of New York
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Yet another picture book about bees? Yes, indeed! Glorious illustrations and engaging text combine to present readers with an up-close look at the life of a honeybee. The action jumps right in, beginning even before the title page, as a new bee chews her way out of her birth chamber and immediately starts working to support her hive. The present-tense text employs simple, straightforward sentences to describe her day-to-day development, with every page ending with the question "Is she going to fly now?" The answer remains "No!" for the first 25 days, until, finally, in a glorious four-page foldout, she soars away over a meadow. Ten days later, her time is up, and she peacefully curls up on the forest floor just as another honeybee is born. The vivid oil paint illustrations include minute details and, at times, seem indistinguishable from photographs. The pictures align perfectly with the text, showing the honeybee hard at work at various tasks. Back matter includes a physical diagram, ways humans can help bees, facts, trivia, and additional resources. Whether used to support inquiry projects or as a stunning storytime selection, this offering will captivate audiences.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist
School Library Journal Starred Review (1/1/20)
Horn Book
Publishers Weekly
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 1,631
Reading Level: 4.2
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 508541 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD750L
Guided Reading Level: L

Robert F. Sibert Medal Winner
Take to the sky with Apis, one honeybee, as she embarks on her journey through life!

An Orbis Pictus Honor Book
Selected for the Texas Bluebonnnet Master List
Finalist for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books

A tiny honeybee emerges through the wax cap of her cell. Driven to protect and take care of her hive, she cleans the nursery and feeds the larvae and the queen. But is she strong enough to fly? Not yet!

Apis builds wax comb to store honey, and transfers pollen from other bees into the storage. She defends the hive from invaders. And finally, she begins her new life as an adventurer.

The confining walls of the hive fall away as Apis takes to the air, finally free, in a brilliant double-gatefold illustration where the clear blue sky is full of promise-- and the wings of dozens of honeybees, heading out in search of nectar to bring back to the hive.

Eric Rohmann's exquisitely detailed illustrations bring the great outdoors into your hands in this poetically written tribute to the hardworking honeybee. Award-winning author Candace Fleming describes the life cycle of the honeybee in accessible, beautiful language. Similar in form and concept to the Sibert and Orbis Pictus award book Giant Squid, Honeybee also features a stunning gatefold and an essay on the plight of honeybees.

Cook Prize Honor Book
A Kids' Book Choice Award Finalist
An American Library Association Notable Children’s Book
A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year
Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, NPR, Shelf Awareness, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly and more!
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of the Year
A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year!
A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Book
A Booklist Editor's Choice
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

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