Children's LiteratureA title in the 'Smithsonian's Backyard' series, this beautifully-illustrated, nonfiction picture book follows a full season in the life of Bumblebee. It begins in April, when Bumblebee awakens from her winter-long hibernation. In the warm months that follow, she's as busy aswhat elsea bee. Bumblebee cleans her nest, lays eggs and finds food for the larvae. After the eggs hatch, Bumblebee's daughters help her gather more nectar, feed the next batches of larvae, and keep the nest clean. Until late summer, most of Bumblebee's eggs will hatch into female worker bees. Bumblebee's last batch of eggs produces new queens, and males who will mate with queens from other nests. As autumn nears, Bumblebee and the young queens hibernate underground, ready for the life cycle of the bumblebee colony to begin again. Kest's full-color paintings are a delight, giving a "bee's-eye" view of Bumblebee's hive and the flower-filled backyard of a stone-and-wood cottage on Apple Tree Lane. 2000, Soundprints/Trudy Corporation, $15.95 and $4.95. Ages 4 to 10. Reviewer: Dianne Ochiltree
School Library JournalGr 1-3-This attractive fictional account follows the life of a queen bumblebee, from the day she awakens from hibernation in spring and seeks a nesting place to summer's end when she crawls underground to escape the cold of winter. Bumblebee's diet, her nest-building and nectar-gathering techniques, and the growth of the bee colony are described in both the text and in the handsome, realistically rendered, double-page paintings that feature larger-than-life insects and flowers. This simple nature lesson, used in a storytime setting, could be followed up with a photo-essay on the bumblebee and a trek outdoors to observe some of these fascinating insects in action.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Childrens Book WatchThe latest addition to the "Smithsonian's Backyard" series of nature books for young readers, Laura Gates Galvin's Bumblebee At Apple Tree Lane is the charming and informative story of a bumblebee awakening from a winter-long hibernation in the backyard of the stone-and-wood cottage on Apple Tree Lane. She works hard during the spring and summer cleaning the nest, laying eggs, providing food for the larvae, etc. In the fall the young queens hibernate underground and the following spring the life cycle of the bumblebee colony begins all over. This accurate presentation on the life cycle of the bumblebee is superbly illustrated in full shining color with the vividly accurate artistry of Kristin Kest. This outstanding wildlife storybook is also available with a companion read-along audiocassette tape and realistically designed stuffed animal toy in a multimedia, interactive presentation for those who would prefer more than this simple, elegant, very highly recommended picturebook..
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