UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings

UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings

3.0 2
by Douglas Florian
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The buzz is big for Douglas Florian’s new poetry collection about the unBEElieveably unique lives of honeybees—and the vital role they play in our ecosystem.

Come inside the honeycomb—a busy, buzzy, bee-filled home—and learn about the unexpected wonders of these tiny insects’ lifestyles, families, and communities. In fourteen

Overview

The buzz is big for Douglas Florian’s new poetry collection about the unBEElieveably unique lives of honeybees—and the vital role they play in our ecosystem.

Come inside the honeycomb—a busy, buzzy, bee-filled home—and learn about the unexpected wonders of these tiny insects’ lifestyles, families, and communities. In fourteen funny, fact-filled honeybee poems and paintings, Douglas Florian explores the natural history of these often-unappreciated critters, revealing them to be a totally cool—and totally important—part of our ecosystem. Indeed, these buzzy bugs have been in the spotlight lately as wild bee populations are dwindling, honey prices are rising, and beekeeping has become a popular hobby.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this high-spirited and lyrical homage to bees, smudgy paintings that resemble a child’s chalkboard drawings pair with collage elements to tenderly anthropomorphize the insects. “I’m a lover of clover./ A seeker of scent./ A zigzag flyover—/ A thing heaven-sent,” announces one bee, hovering over a daisy. The queen bee appears in a jeweled crown and pink robe, holding a mobile phone: “My doting daughters feed my belly,/ And I was raised on royal jelly.” Florian also includes descriptions of bee behavior (“One of bees’ most important roles in nature is a process called pollination”), which add a touch of biology to his tableaus. Ages 5–up. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Florian (Poetrees, 2010, etc.) bestows yet another pleasing mix of punny poems and colorful collages that blend whimsy and fact.... Spreads like "Swarm" epitomize Florian's skill at combining pithy rhymes, well-chosen facts and playfully tongue-in-cheek pictures.... Design is crisp.... Florian shines again here."

Kirkus Reviews, March 6, 2012

“Another winning compendium…. Cheerful anthropomorphized caricatures of honeybees accompany upbeat, rhyming wordplay and factual notes in the artist’s familiar style…. “All day we bees/Just buzz and buzz./That’s what we duzz/And duzz and duzz.” The book is just what Florian duzz and will be welcomed by his fans.”

School Library Journal, February 2012

"Working in gouache, colored pencils, and collage on paper bags, Florian evokes the world of bees with repetitive patterning that cleverly references their honeycombs and the fields of flowers they frequent as well as the bees themselves—worker bees are sisters hatched from eggs laid two thousand at a crack. His rhythmic verse, too, echoes bee behavior, as much with sound as with sense (“I’m a nectar collector. / Make wax to the max. / A beehive protector. / I never relax”). Puns and other wordplay enliven the text (“Why are we full / Of fuzz and fuzz? / Bee-cuzz bee-cuzz / The fuzz the fuzz / Helps pollen stick / To uzz to uzz”). A paragraph of more straightforward facts elucidates each spread, but the real energy here is in the deceptively casual art. A regal queen bee looks almost human, and drones resemble feckless kids, while captions of discretely scattered capitals provide as much texture as information…an offbeat and attractive book, completed with a “BEEbliography.”

The Horn Book, March/April 2012

“Poetic chronicler of the natural world Florian takes on a more tightly focused subject than usual, winging his way through the world of the honeybee in fourteen rhyming poems…a bee brags of being her “own pollen nation” in “Summer Hummer,” while the onomatopoeic “Bees Buzz” will have kids bzzing their way through the day. A bibliography—sorry, “BEEbliography”—and a couple of web links for further reading are included.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, March 2012

“In this high-spirited and lyrical homage to bees, smudgy paintings that resemble a child's chalkboard drawings pair with collage elements to tenderly anthropomorphize the insects…. Florian also includes descriptions of bee behavior ("One of bees' most important roles in nature is a process called pollination"), which add a touch of biology to his tableaus.”

Publishers Weekly, February 27, 2012

“The latest in Florian’s series of poetry books spotlighting animals, this attractive volume features bees…. Here the facts appear alongside the verse, an arrangement that works well because knowledge enlarges the experience of reading the verse and helps the information stick…some of the rhyming poems…express the bees’ point of view in a playful way that makes them fun to read aloud or even to memorize…. A nice mix of wordplay and science.”

Booklist, April 1, 2012

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Each double-page spread contains a carefully crafted, frequently amusing poem about bees on one side, along with added factual information in a smaller typeface below. A full-page illustration created with gouache, colored pencils, and collage on printed-paper bags bleeds off the other side. The first poem welcomes us to the hive. Next we learn about the anatomy of a bee. The roles of the queen bee, drones, and workers are discussed, as are the "dance" done by the bees and the gathering of nectar and pollen. We meet beekeepers; we learn how the bees swarm to form a new colony, and then about the current mysterious disappearance of bees, or Colony Collapse Disorder. Word play abounds in these verses, for example when eggs hatch into larva, they note that the "cozy home bee-fits me well." The body grows until, "I'm truly un-bee-lievable!" Florian seems to enjoy loosely rendering the bees anthropomorphically with happy faces. He also scatters words relating to the subject in upper case letters. There is a wealth of information here along with the fun. There is even a "Beebliography." Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Another winning compendium in the vein of Florian's Dinothesaurus (S & S, 2009), Insectlopedia (1998), and On the Wing (1996, both Harcourt). Cheerful anthropomorphized caricatures of honeybees accompany upbeat, rhyming wordplay and factual notes in the artist's familiar style. The multimedia pictures, created on brown paper bags, sometimes feature a single bee, sometimes a swarm. Tiny details in the drawings or backgrounds and embedded words in varied fonts add silly notes and visual surprises. Bee anatomy; the roles of the queen bee, drones, and worker bees; and aspects of communication, honey production, and life in the hive all get playful commentary. There's a poem on apiarists, too, and the closing piece, "Where Are the Bees?," reminds readers of the serious matter of the collapse of bee colonies in recent years. "All day we bees/Just buzz and buzz./That's what we duzz/And duzz and duzz." The book is just what Florian duzz and will be welcomed by his fans.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
Florian (Poetrees, 2010, etc.) bestows yet another pleasing mix of punny poems and colorful collages that blend whimsy and fact. The 14 poems introduce the roles of the queen, drones and workers and touch on such matters as anatomy, development from egg to bee, and even Colony Collapse Disorder. Spreads like "Swarm" epitomize Florian's skill at combining pithy rhymes, well-chosen facts and playfully tongue-in-cheek pictures. "When it's too crowded, then we form / A cloud of bees that's called a swarm." A three-sentence paragraph, offset in smaller type, explains why bees swarm, the role of scout bees and what happens after a new home site is found. The facing picture shows a veritable thunderhead of bees, dwarfing the sun and forest in its imperative to move house. Design is crisp: The text type, Neutra, sits in pleasing, contrasting colors against saturated pages of crimson, ochre-gold and grass green. Characteristically poking visual fun at facts, the mixed-media pictures present bees as cheeky girls and boys with red, kewpie-doll smiles. The queen sports a crown, scepter and cell phone, illustrating the couplet "My princely sons are known as drones-- / Not one of those boys ever phones!" Meanwhile, those Belushi-looking bad boys slouch and smirk in chunky medallions and sideways baseball caps. Florian shines again here. ("BEEbliography," websites for further inquiry) (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442426528
Publisher:
Beach Lane Books
Publication date:
03/06/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
636,105
Product dimensions:
9.44(w) x 10.76(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Douglas Florian is the creator of many celebrated picture books, including Poetrees; Dinothesaurus, which received four starred reviews; Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year and Horn Book Fanfare List selection; and Bow Wow Meow Meow, winner of the Gryphon Award and a Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year. He lives with his family in New York.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
David_Bloom More than 1 year ago
Imaginative and informatiive, with wordplay, and plenty of bee puns BEEtween the covers, as well as an accurate BEEbliography, this one is a winner. The clever poems are printed BEEside a paragraph filled with BEE facts: For instance, all male bees are called Drones, are genetically brothers, are stingless and cannot defend the hive or forage for food. Here's the beginning of the poem DRONE: BROTHER! Yo, BROTHER! Bee-have in your hive! Hey DRONE! Don't MOAN! Don't GROAN! And don't JIVE!