Taste of Honey
by Wallace, Nancy Elizabeth

A little bear and her father trace the origins of honey from the jar all the way back to the bees that first produced it.

Ages 4-7. As Lily, a little bear, eats a honey sandwich, she asks Poppy, "Where does honey come from?" His answer, "Out of this jar," doesn't quite satisfy her, so she asks, "But . . . before that?" Each answer, from Mike's Market to the delivery truck to the honey farm to the honey extractor to the honeycomb to the hive to the nectar, leads to another probing "Before that?" Finally, when Lily has exhausted Poppy's knowledge, if not his patience, she answers her own question in the only way that satisfies her: "Bees!" Sometimes information-for example, an illustrated section on beekeepers' clothing-is added in smaller type for children with greater interest or a longer attention span, but younger preschoolers will listen quite happily to the tale of the determined cub's investigation. With their clean lines and vibrant colors, Wallace's delightful cut-paper collages illustrate the story with a cheerfully childlike look. A picture book well designed to explain and entertain. ((Reviewed February 15, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

"Poppy, where does honey come from?" asks an inquisitive little bear in this charming picture book by the author/illustrator of Apples, Apples, Apples (2000). Grandpa explains it step-by-step, beginning with buying the jar of honey at the local market. Unlike other titles that begin with bees and flowers and work forward to the end product of honey on the table, Wallace uses a clever backward design, starting with a spoonful of honey, explaining how it got to market, came from a honey farm, was pulled from the comb with a honey extractor, and so on. At each step, the child bear asks, "But before that?," lending a read-aloud extra to the simple text. Appealing paper collages in bright primary colors help to illustrate the meaning of the information. Double-paged layouts are visually striking, and young children who aren't ready for words can read the images. A spread of bees filling the honeycombs is especially effective. The honey extractor is shown with labeled parts, and notes explain the specialized clothing of the beekeepers from helmet to the boot bands that keep bees out of pant legs. The author includes information on the bees' waggle dance, kinds of flowers that are used for honey, a honey board game, and interesting honey facts. The book ends asit began, with a question, as Lily asks: "Poppy, where does bread come from?" It is to be hoped that Wallace will tell young readers all about that in a new title equally as fine. (Nonfiction. 4-7) Copyright 2001 Kirkus Reviews

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