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Kidlit giants Kirsten Hall and Isabelle Arsenault offer up a delightful introduction to nature’s hardest workers in The Honeybee

FICTION

* The Honeybee

Kirsten Hall and Isabelle Arsenault, ill.

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Ages 4–8

ENVIRONMENTALISM HAS LONG held a place in literature for children. It has been over 40 years since Dr. Seuss’s Lorax first spoke for the trees. New York–based writer Kirsten Hall (The Gold Leaf) carries on this tradition and speaks for the bees in her latest picture book.

The Honeybee is a delightful introduction to the crucial role of nature’s hardest workers. Readers follow a bee as it journeys from flower to hive. Nectar is turned to honey. Seasons come and go, winter passes, and the bee returns to a blooming field. The narrative ends where it began, a nod to the perpetuity of natural cycles.

Hall’s language is rich and lively. Her cadence buzzes with all the energy of a hive. The Honeybee is a joyful read-aloud – the rhymes and repetition are as much f un to speak a s they are to hear.

Quebec illustrator Isabelle Arsenault (Jane, the Fox and Me) brings the text to life with her signature mixed-media style, a unique combination of gouache and pencil. Predominantly done in yellows and black, the images are accented with pops of blue and fuchsia flora.

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