A tired bee flits about, pollinating as she goes.
Let’s talk first impressions: This is one exhausted-looking bee on the cover, with bags under her eyes that make her verge on haggard. Her weary face is somewhat off-putting, and it’s never clear what fatigues her. Does she really find the enthusiastically described tasks of finding “nectar to sip” and “pollen to munch” so onerous? Readers might experience a similar feeling of disquiet when reading the poetry aloud. Yes, the book rhymes, but the couplets have a forced, choppy feel, and the meter is inconsistent from page to page. Though there are bright, informational stanzas with effervescent lines extolling the “yummy, twisty vines of green sweet pea” sprinkled throughout, others like, “At mid-day, when the sun is high. / She zooms to sunflowers nearby” feel flat and even amateurish. Better is the art sitting underneath the superimposed cartoon bee. Big, bright portraits of luscious, labeled veggies, flowers, and fruits, including strawberries, pumpkins, and apples, are eye-catching and just right for very young viewers. Muted collages of garden scenes have an earthy, cut-paper quality and contain enough details of fields and gardens to be interesting but not overwhelming. Bulleted facts on the back cover contain some neat bee facts; though they are too sophisticated for a board-book audience, adults reading with their children may learn a thing or two.
Will not “bee” an essential purchase.(Board book. 1-4)