What's the Buzz?: Honey for a Sweet New Year

What's the Buzz?: Honey for a Sweet New Year

by Allison Ofanansky

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ofanansky and Alpern offer a fresh take on Rosh Hashanah with this picture book tour of a bee farm. Readers follow a children’s class as students are shown how bees make honey. Color photographs and a running narrative combine to produce an easy-to-grasp book that is about science but also about culture; honey plays a part in celebrations of Rosh Hashanah, when apples or challah are dipped in the viscous liquid and eaten, symbolizing the wish for a sweet new year. Children who dislike insects may be put off by the pictures of swarms of bees, one of which is the main element on the cover. But young scientists and naturalists will appreciate the detail, and parents and educators will welcome a new way to talk about a familiar holiday. Ages 3–8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—Clear, colorful photos follow a group of children on a field trip to a bee farm, where the beekeeper gives them a tour and explains how honey is made. The unnamed narrator goes home with honey and a beeswax candle with which to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, when honey is used to represent hopes for a sweet new year. A page of "Fun Facts" and an end note about the holiday round out the book. While the photographs are very natural, showing children genuinely enjoying the outing, the text is somewhat stilted. The explanation of honey-making is clear but dry, and the excessive inclusion of student names seems designed to constantly remind readers that the setting is Israel. That said, this is a unique combination of holiday tradition with science, making it stand out from other Rosh Hashanah titles and other bee-and-honey titles. It is an excellent choice for Judaic and multicultural collections, and its unusual approach may add flair to general science collections.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

Product Details

Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication date:
High Holidays Series
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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