A close-up photo of a flying black and yellow bee graces the cover of this book from the "Spectacular Animal Town" series. Twelve chapters of two pages each impart information in an easy to read manner with 100 words or less on the spread. This in itself will draw reluctant readers as well as good readers interested in learning about honey bees. In chapter one, five intriguing introductory sentences let readers know that forty billion honey bees are capable of pollinating 600,000 acres in only twenty-two days. Subsequent chapters include facts about the towns of honey bees, honeycombs, how and where the bees gather food, how they pollinate flowers, what the queen bee does, and more. One chapter of special interest addresses how bees do dances to communicate where flowers can be found. A sharp picture of a "tail-wagging" bee dance adds to the text. The chapter on bee nurseries explains in detail, but in an understandable way, what happens to eggs after the queen lays them. Fascinating photos show close-ups of bee larvae, nurse bees, developing pupae, and the pupae's head with eyes clearly defined. Sidebars add extra information and glossary words are shown in bold throughout the text. The interest level of the book ranges from second to seventh grade, but it is written at a third grade level. This makes the book useful in many grades. All books in the series make excellent supplements to science and social science curriculums. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
Gr 3-6–This delightful series highlights the habitats of a variety of creatures, from tiny one-celled corals to bats, beavers, and prairie dogs. Through excellent photographs, high-interest texts, sidebars, maps, and other material, children learn about both the animals and their habitats. The species are shown not only within their own kind, but also in relation to those that share the habitat. For example, coral reefs are discussed in terms of the individual corals that make up the organism, and in relation to other animals that inhabit it and environmental situations that benefit or threaten it. Each book also provides brief profiles of animals with similar habitats. The publisher’s Web site provides links to other Web sites and activities about each animal profiled. These books are much better than average “report” titles.