by Krebs, Laurie; Iwai, Melissa (ILT)

In rhyming text, a child describes the work Grandpa does to take care of honeybees and harvest the honey they make.

PreS-Gr. 2. Beeman takes his granddaughter to his hives, describes the types of bees there, and shows how he extracts the honey. He gives some back to the bees, then takes the rest inside to enjoy on the muffins Grandma bakes. Written from the child's point of view, the first-person text uses the rhyme scheme and rhythm familiar from "This Is the House That Jack Built" but without the cumulative refrain. The verse rolls along gracefully, giving young children a basic introduction to bees and the beekeeping process. Krebs creates a series of appealing, naive paintings of two types: small pictures that show details such as tools and types of bees and larger pictures that focus on Beeman and his granddaughter. The impressionistic paintings of trees not only create beautiful backdrops but also indicate the passage of time through the change of seasons. Teachers looking for picture books that correlate with the science curriculum will find this an attractive choice. ((Reviewed October 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

A beekeeping grandpa stars in debut author Krebs's witty ditty modeled after The House that Jack Built. "Here is his jacket, / with zippered up hood / that covers his face / just the way that it should / when he visits his hives as / the Beeman." Told from the granddaughter's perspective, rhyming text introduces beekeeping equipment, processes, and the roles of each bee in the hive (including queen bee, drones, workers, and house bees). Iwai's (Hannah's Christmas, 2001, etc.) full-bleed acrylic-on-board illustrations picture adult and child in the backyard bee farm; text and vignettes-of a jacket, leather gloves, and beehive-appear in quarter-spread panels. Unfortunately, Iwai's static figures compromise the vitality of her refreshing palette. In one spread, for example, adult and child-both in bee suits-appear against a backdrop of green trees, bushes, and a sun-dappled lawn; stiffly lifting the beehive, the grandfather looks as if he's about to fall backward. Nevertheless, Iwai does a good job representing the bees; a dramatic close-up depicts "house bees" fanning the nectar in an intricate geometric honeycomb. Teachers wishing to supplement studies of community will find Krebs's debut useful for its introduction to the social structure of bee-dom; librarians will likely notice a buzz for the book around Grandparent's Day too. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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