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by Linda Oatman High, Doug Chayka

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Boyds Mills Press publishes a wide range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction picture books, chapter books, novels, and nonfiction


Boyds Mills Press publishes a wide range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction picture books, chapter books, novels, and nonfiction

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Readers will be buzzing with curiosity after turning the pages of this quietly suspenseful story of a girl who helps her grandfather keep bees and harvest their honey. Decked out in the requisite but unearthly-looking protective gear, the beekeepers head to the hives in the bee yard. When some of the bees decide to swarm, quick thinking and calm movements save the day-and the hives. High's (A Christmas Star) spare, poetic descriptions make it easy to imagine a dewy spring morning on the farm. In his picture book debut, Chayka's oil paintings, built up in broad brush strokes, are appropriately steeped in the golden hues of sunshine and honey. The gentle lighting is a key element: because the beekeepers' veils obscure most facial expressions, the artist resourcefully deploys color and composition to set the mood. Children unfamiliar with this type of farming will be fascinated by such equipment as a bee smoker and the box-like hives where the bees build their honeycombs. But most of all, youngsters will marvel at the central characters as they emerge unscathed from a swarm of creatures most people have been taught to fear. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
This touching intergenerational story features a young girl who joins her grandfather on a special walk to tend his beehives. The author uses simple text to describe springtime beekeeping practices from beginning to end-getting dressed in the right clothing, using special tools to lift the covers off the wooden hives, and patiently watching bees as they swarm and eventually return to their man-made hives. Earthtone illustrations add to the effectiveness of this well-written introduction to beekeeping. Youngsters will enjoy this positive look at the oft-maligned and misunderstood buzzers of the honey domain.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1A beautifully descriptive story about a girl and her grandfather and the passing of a legacy to be a keeper of bees. The soft oil paintings set the tone of a sunny springtime afternoon when the man allows his granddaughter to bring down the swarm for the first time. "What if they don't come," she asks, "trembling." "They'll come," grandfather says. They do, making both beekeepers proud and leaving them to reminisce about other times and the honey harvest. The story is simple and the illustrations glow, leaving readers with a warm feeling of a shared experience.Evelyn Butrico, Cold Spring Harbor Library, Greenlawn, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Honey-colored light pours down upon a young narrator and her grandfather as they climb into their heavy coveralls and walk during a spring morning to the bee yard. Checking the hives amid swirls of bees carrying multi-colored pods of gathered pollen, the girl visualizes the snow-white wax inside and recalls "the sweet smell of spun honey," then has a nervous moment when her grandfather spots a new swarm clustered on a bough and invites her to capture it. Despite some anxiety, the transfer to an empty hive goes smoothly, and on the way back she is promised the first honey chunk of the season. Chayka scatters roughly life-sized bees and depictions of beekeepers' tools in the generous margins around the text, but his full-page oil paintings are more about the pleasure of sharing outdoor work on a beautiful day than the specific techniques of beekeeping. An idyllic episode, as comforting as the bees' sweet product. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

Highlights Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.83(w) x 11.31(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Linda Oatman High is the author of The Last Chimney of Christmas Eve. She also wrote Barn Savers and Winter Shoes for Shadow Horse, both illustrated by Ted Lewin, and all are published by Boyds Mills Press.

Doug Chayka illustrated Yanni Rubbish, written by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim and published by Boyds Mills Press.

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Beekeepers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best beekeeping book for children!