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Children's LiteraturePart of the "Backyard Book" series, this book allows readers to expand their understanding by following up the title question with facts about a bee. For instance, the reader is asked, "Are you a bee?" A follow-up states, "Perhaps you are a honeybee. If so...." The informative text that follows imparts facts on being a larva, eating, living in a cell with a wax ceiling, looking hairy and striped, and much more. Soft-toned illustrations throughout depict realistic bees and their habitat. One lovely lavender iris unfolds on a two-page spread to become the background for one bee sipping hidden nectar and another one gathering pollen. The pace of the text moves forward nicely so a reader gathers a comprehensive picture of bees. A fun twist happens at the end when the reader sees a trio of beekeepers and is told, "if your mother looks a little like this..." you are a human child! The last full-page illustration, aptly shown in honey-colored browns and golds, is one of a contented child who does not have to be as busy as a bee, but who can enjoy bread and honey thanks to bees. Two more pages offer extra facts about the busy creatures. Add this 32-page book to a science curriculum. 2004 (orig. 2001), Kingfisher/Houghton Mifflin, Ages 4 to 8.
—Nancy Garhan Attebury