Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Flight of the Honey Bee


Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy. 
Every Wednesday, I'll review a non-fiction picture book. (It may not always be a picture book.) Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other non-fiction books are shared this week!


Title: Flight of the Honey Bee 
Author: Raymond Huber  
Illustrator: Brian Lovelock 
Publisher: Candlewick Press 
Publication Date: September, 2013 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Follow the flight of a honey bee as she searches for nectar to sustain her hive and, along the way, pollinates flowers to produce seeds and fruits.

A tiny honey bee emerges from the hive for the first time. Using sunlight, landmarks, and scents to remember the path, she goes in search of pollen and nectar to share with the thousands of other bees in her hive. She uses her powerful sense of smell to locate the flowers that sustain her, avoids birds that might eat her, and returns home to share her finds with her many sisters. Nature lovers and scientists-to-be are invited to explore the fascinating life of a honey bee. 
What I Think: Yesterday, I shared one of my favorite vegan recipes, black bean brownies from Chocolate-Covered Katie's blog. I've been vegan for over three years now and it doesn't seem like it has been that long. When I read Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals, I immediately decided to be vegetarian. Soon after, I switched to almond milk or rice milk instead of cow's milk. And about six months after that, I decided to try being vegan and to see where it got me. Well, it's gotten me here! Three years later and here I am.
     I tell you my story of becoming vegan because part of being vegan is not eating honey. Most people balk at this when I tell them but collecting honey from bees can be more harmful than you might realize. And after reading this book, it's clear that it's not only harmful to the bees but the decline in healthy bees that can pollinate plants to give us apples, cherries, strawberries, nuts, and other vegetables has much larger ramifications.
     One of the key factors that really played a part in my decision to become vegan was the immense impact factory farming has on the environment. I definitely don't feel good about slaughtering animals. I definitely do feel good about eating healthier. But knowing that eating vegan also impacts the environment really made my decision crystal clear.
     This book celebrates bees in such a charming way. We follow the story of a little bee named Scout. Along with the wonderful narration of Scout's daily life, readers also learn facts about the honey bee. By the end of this book, I was more amazed by honey bees than when I started. There were some facts I knew about bees but I learned so many more. A simple plea on the very last page: "Save the bees!" really caused me to think again about honey bees and I was off to research more about them. Did you know that there has been an 80% decrease in the number of honey bees in the United States in the last three years? A great example of how reading leads to more reading and research!
Read Together: Grades K - 6  
Read Alone:  Grades K - 6
Read With: Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Snatch of Text:   
"Scout spins a story in dance,
every movement a sentence.
Scout waggles, twists, and turns,
describing the route to the blue meadow.
She pauses only to share samples
of sweet nectar.

Scout repeats her dance for many
sister bees.

The bees' dance is a complex language 
that can communicate millions
of different messages."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visualizing 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Descriptive, $100 Words, Word Choice, Onomatopoeia, Alliteration, Personification
Writing Prompts: Choose an animal and try to describe a day in the life of that animal from the animal's perspective. You might start by first researching and learning about the animal's habits and then writing to describe the animal's day. 
Topics Covered: Integration - Science, Teamwork, Family, Determination 
I *heart* It:

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