Short, simple rhyming words and phrases, printed in large type on realistic illustrations, describe the amazing life cycle of the honeybee. The vibrantly colored scenes center on a beehive hidden in a tree trunk and the grass and gardens surrounding it. Brief paragraphs in a smaller font provide more information about the insect’s depicted activities. Arbo’s incredibly detailed, lifelike close-ups of female worker bees performing the jobs through which they rotate during their short lives greatly enhance the text. Two pages of information about honeybees are appended. . . . A wonderful choice for sharing aloud, Mortensen’s finely crafted book makes a solid addition.
— School Library Journal (July 2009)
In the Trees, Honey Bees brings us a close-up look at the lives of honey bees in a nice new oversize paperback edition. Lori Mortensen’s text dances neatly between a very simple rhyming text for younger readers (“Sisters fly / through the sky”) and more in-depth prose notes explaining the science involved. That back-and-forth makes In the Trees, Honey Bees an ideal book for kindergarten and early-elementary schools. Cris Arbo’s big, bright illustrations are in the spirit of fine old botanical prints, lovely . . . At the back of the book is more text, detailing “the buzz about honey bees,” including the facts that only nine out of 25,000 species of bees make honey and that field bees “forage for blossoms up to three miles away.
— Boston Globe – Liz Rosenberg (March 22, 2009)
Simple rhymes and striking full-bleed illustrations introduce the daily lives of honeybees to very young readers and listeners. Arbo’s detailed paintings show vistas of a bucolic farm visited by oversized honeybees, glorious flowers and close-ups of a hive inside a tree. . . .
— Kirkus Reviews (March 15, 2009)
Cris Arbo used a wild hive in her Virginia backyard as the model for these illustrations. In her imagination, says the biography, she climbed right inside the hive to offer a bees-eye view of the world. Arbo succeeded utterly, and children will be fascinated by the perspective and detail. The narrative is seasonal as well as explaining different functions of the hive members. A wonderful book for libraries and classrooms.
— ForeWord – Heather Shaw (October 2009)
Have you ever heard someone’s being described as “busy as a bee”? Well, exactly what do bees do to stay so busy? Entomologists tell us that there are three kinds of honey bees in a hive – workers, drones, and the queen. All the workers are female, all the drones are male, and the queen lays all the eggs. Worker bees begin as eggs and then larvae who are fed by nurse bees. During their lives, the 15,000 to 30,000 worker bees in a hive have several different jobs. First, they collect nectar from older workers returning from the field. Then they begin producing wax to build honeycomb cells. Their next task is to guard the colony. Finally, they begin the work of flying to collect nectar and pollen.
In the Trees, Honey Bees is another “Sharing Nature With Children Book” from Dawn Publications in which author Lori Mortensen does a wonderful job of explaining all these facts about honey bees on a level that young children can easily understand by juxtaposing poetic text that kids will enjoy reading with sidebar-type factoids that give further information, along with a couple of pages at the back of the book with “The Buzz About Honeybees.” Did you know that there are over 25,000 species of bees but only nine species can make honey? The life-like illustrations by Chris Arbo will give the reader a close-up view of what goes on in a beehive. In the 1920s the phrase “the bee’s knees” was commonly used to mean “Excellent or the highest quality.” This book is “the bee’s knees”!
— Stories for Children Magazine (May 2009)
In simple text, the lifecycle of a wild honey bee colony is viewed from a hidden beehive inside a tree trunk. Honey bees are shown collecting nectar and pollen to feed the colony, storing it in honeycomb cells, caring for the queen, feeding the eggs, collecting water, guarding the colony, and building combs from wax-secreting glands. Sidebar paragraphs supply additional information: “An average colony has 15,000 to 50,000 worker bees. But there is only one queen. Worker bees take care of her so she can lay the eggs that will become new members of the colony.” The eye-catching illustrations will capture the interest of children, as well as endpapers, which provide additional information on various species, types, habits, and beekeepers. Children may never view honey bees in the same way again.
— The Children’s Hour (August 2009)
The large, colorful illustrations in this book give close-up views into the life of wild honey bees in their hive. Meet the queen and her workers. What are their jobs? How big is the egg of a honey bee? Rhyming text appears on the left-hand pages while text on the right-hand page offers educational information. Bees and their relatives are very important for the pollination of many plants and are becoming endangered due to various gardening and agricultural practices. The final two pages contain more specific information about these very interesting and important insects.
— Outdoor America (Winter 2010)
I so heart books! Here’s a wonderful one – IN THE TREES, HONEYBEES – that I know you will enjoy with your kids. It’s won numerous awards, including the Gold Mom’s Choice Award, and no wonder since it is both an entertaining and education read.
I wanted to read this one with Ethan because he’s become fearful of bees of late, and I wanted to teach him about all the wonderful things bees do to help flowers grow and make honey. Lori Mortensen, the author, describes the book as an “Inside-the-hive views of a wild colony of honey bees offer close-ups of the queen, the cells, even bee eggs. Simple verse will engage a young child, while sidebars with fascinating information satisfy the somewhat older child.” And the artwork, by Chris Arbo, is just gorgeous, too.
Oh, and – BONUS! – a trip to the author’s website will give you 10 different downloadable activities that you can pair with the book! How cool is that? You can see why this book has won so many awards and is beloved by schools and homeschooling families. Most of the activities are suitable for children’s slightly older than Ethan, but there was one that just called my name! I’m a big fan of compound butters, and Ethan and I love to cook together, so the Honey Butter activity and recipe provided was calling my name. More on that tomorrow…
Ethan and I sat down to read the book for the first time and he was so full of questions – ‘Why do the bees collect pollen?’ ‘Do the bees sleep in the honeycomb pockets?’ Then insisted we read it again that night before bed. As we read, he said ‘My favorite part is the lightening’ during the storm, and he shivered a little and snuggled closer. I love cuddling and reading with my sweet boy!
So the bottom line is he really enjoyed this book and I think he got a great sense of how bees work together to make food and help flowers grow. I learned a few things along the way, too, and I’d definitely recommend this to anyone looking to teach their child about bees.
— Juggling Act Mama (July 2012)
Get the buzz about bees in this new picture book, which takes children inside the hive. See bees feeding larva, protecting the colony, building their combs, and more. The text is spare and light, with additional information provided at the back of the book.
— Learning Magazine (April 2010)
In the Trees, Honey Bees is a book that young readers will enjoy. The story is told in two parts – poetic and descriptive – making it easy for readers of all ages to have fun while reading it. A background of vividly colored outdoor scenes, full of minute details of the bees’ world and bee anatomy, illustrate the text. There are many richly colored visual details to be explored on each page. The educational information in the story is kept concise, but the book has more in-depth information about bees in the ‘Buzz’ section at the end. Sources for further research for the reader who becomes hooked on the subject are also included. The book made me appreciate anew the miraculous talents of honeybees and their precious gifts to us, while stimulating my appetite for more understanding.
— Skipping Stones – Kara Steffensen (May/August 2010)
Each two-page spread in this book includes short rhyming phrases followed by informational text that supports the central idea in the rhyme. Mortensen describes the work of the different types of bees in a colony, and Arbo’s illustrations provide close-up views of the bees at their tasks. Domain-specific vocabulary words, such as propolis or bee glue, are embedded in the text and in appended facts, increasing the rigor of the content for young listeners.
— ALA Book Links – Sunday Cummins (May 2012)
A tantalizing new book for that aspiring young beekeeper has been published by Dawn Publications. Fascinating artwork is accompanied by a dual text. One text works for the “read to me” age while a separate text works for the early reader. Read to a kid about honey bees. You will both enjoy it.
— Illinois State Beekeepers Association (August 2009)
If you were to magically travel inside a honey bee colony, it would be like entering another world, one that is amazingly cooperative, organized, and energetic. This picture book introduces children to life inside the hive. See thousands of worker bees making wax, feeding the hungry brood, and storing honey. See all the combs filled with honey and pollen. And there?s the queen laying eggs.
— Brodart Prime (August 2009)
The illustrations are amazing! The colors are great and the drawings are so detailed. I love that the story has a “simpler” side to it like “Nectar sweet, Pollen treat” on each page, followed by more information at the bottom to what the bees are actually doing. It’s nice that I can read the simpler version to the younger children and read the other parts to the older children. It’s a great book for the curious child, and a great combination of entertaining and educating. Usually in books it is one or the other.
— iParenting Media Awards Reviewer (August 2009)
We really like the colorful large pictures and the explanation of how bees live, work and make honey. We like how there is a story but yet lots of information that the children can understand on their level. The children have asked many times to have the book read to them.
— iParenting Media Awards Reviewer (August 2009)
Just in time to help explain to children about the global decline in honey bee population, this inside-the-hive view of a wild colony of honey bees offers close-up views of the queen, the cells, even bee eggs. The reader is left with admiration for the remarkable lives of honey bees, whether in the hive or in the field
— Independent Publishers Online Magazine (January 2010)
My kids really enjoyed this book. The reading level was perfect for my eight year old to read it to my six year old. They really enjoyed the factual information as well as the visual imagery. I love when books combine fact and fiction in a fun, entertaining way.
— iParenting Media Awards Reviewer (August 2009)
(five star review)
I just read this to my daughter last night, and I consider it an excellent book. It was well-designed for a wide range of reading abilities, and I think that ages 4-12 is accurate, given the illustrations and information provided.
I have been a beekeeper since 1996. I am usually pretty disappointed by books written at a child’s level regarding honeybees, finding they are either too basic, too fantastic, or simply inaccurate.
Not so with this book!
First of all, each illustration has a rhyming couplet in large type, suitable for younger readers. The title is a perfect example of this. (In the Trees, Honey Bees!). More than this, though, is a more detailed explanation on each page, suitable for older readers who want to know more, and presented in a way that does not interfere with the overall look of the book. For a top-of-the-class reader, the last two pages of the book holds even more information, presented with actual photos, and complete with a recommended reading list.
My daughter loved the illustrations, like the couplets, and asked questions when I read the more detailed explanations to her. She was definitely engaged by this book. I am recommmending “In the Trees, Honey Bees” to my customers, and plan to carry it on our bookshelf.
— Lorinda Titus, “The Bee Lady” (Amazon.com reviewer)(March 2009)
Writer Lori Mortensen and illustratior Chris Arbo have collaborated to create an enchanting childrens book about the life and times of the honey bee. The book, which outwardly resembles a children’s first reader skillfully employs short narrative paragraphs that provide additional text to educate older readers about honey bees. The illustrations are artfully created and allow even the youngest children to follow the story. In the Trees, Honey Bees is an excellent introduction to honey bees and beekeeping. The book ends with a two-page fold-out that discusses the three honey bee castes, the life history of the worker bee, pollination, and beekeeping. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to introduce a child to wonderful world of the honey bee.
— The Kentucky Bee Line (April-June 2009)
I was recently sent a review copy of In the Trees, Honey Bees, a childrens book (ages 4-10) about life inside the bee colony. From the moment I opened the book I was struck by the amazing illustrations of honey bees, comb, larva and the queen. The story opens with a colony of honeybees in a tree and depicts life amongst the bees from foraging, caring for larva, queen facts, wax building – all in great detail normally reserved for more technical books. The author uses simple poetry to capture your attention, then sews the story together with detailed and accurate bee facts. “Shape the wax. Seal the cracks” then describes how bee excrete wax and build their home. “Feed and clean, precious queen,” “Lots of food. Hungry brood, “Fading Light. Homing flight” are just some of rhymes that capture your interest and prepare you for the bee facts to come. In only 32 pages the author gives a very complete view of the life cycle of the honey bee. The last two pages of the book is geared more towards parents and teachers, giving the reader more facts about bees and beekeeping – even citing resources for more information on honey bees. This is not a fluff book, it instead is a great tool to teach kids about the fascinating life of the honey bee with information for all ages. A beautiful book that would make a sweet gift, class or library donation.
— Pawtuckaway Beekeepers Assn. Newsletter – Wendy Booth (May 2009)
This new picture book takes children on a visual journey inside the hive and is an excellent introduction to the insects about one-third of our food depends for pollination. Like a smoothly running town, a honey bee colony is a remakable place. And because honey bee colonies have been plagued by disease recently, we are reminded of the important roles bees play in our lives.
— Albemarle Family Magazine (June/July 2009)
The bees have a busy day ahead, and we get to tag along for an insider’s look into the lives of these amazing creatures. Each spread pairs a poetic stanza with a paragraph that shares more details about the actions taking place in each of the lovely illustrations. Did you know that a scout bee searches out flowers rich with nectar and pollen? When he finds the perfect ones, he returns to the colony to lead the other bees to their new found treasure.
Many bees make their homes inside the trunks of hollowed out trees. This much I already knew, but what I didn’t know was that these resourceful bees use tree sap to seal any holes or cracks in their home. Genius!
The poetry and prose of this book work well to capture the interest of young audiences, but readers of all ages are sure to be fascinated by these creatures and gain an even greater appreciation for their importance in our lives. This book would make a nice addition to any classroom unit on insects, the honeybee life cycle or animal families. Buzz on over to your local library or bookstore and take a peek for yourself.
— Wild About Nature (wildaboutnature.blogspot.com)- Kim Hutmacher (May 2, 2009)
Author Lori Mortensen has done an amazingly wonderful job of explaining all the facts about honeybees on a level that young children can easily understand. She uses a poetic style that kids will enjoy reading and features fun facts in sidebars throughout the book. There are also a couple of pages at the back, entitled “The Buzz about Honeybees,” which provide more information for curious young minds. The beautiful, realistic illustrations by Chris Arbo give the reader a close-up view of what goes on in a beehive. This book is so easily comprehensible to both young and old, that readers cannot help but enjoy every little bit of it. The hardbound cover and lifelike illustrations make this story a true gem.
— Lane County ESD Reviews (Fall 2010)
At last, here is a book ideally suited to capture the interest of young readers. I highly recommend it as a way to share both the fascinating lives and the importance to humans of honey beesand even parents will find much of interest.
— Dana Stahlman, EAS Master Beekeeper & host of www.gobeekeeping.com (January 2009)
This beautiful large-format book shows the bees living in their natural home, a hollow tree. The dramatically large drawings realistically show the bees and their comb, brood, pollen and honey. Most pages have a little rhyme accompanying the drawing. Although this is primarily a picture book, the text for each picture presents some accurate information about the life of bees. The book ends with two pages giving more details about honey bees along with several references. These pages will give parents and teachers enough information to augment the picture captions. This book is sheer enjoyment for all ages.
— Ann Harman, Pres. of Virginia State Beekeepers Assn. (March 2009)
An insider?s view of a thriving hive, this book has bigger-than-life illustrations and enjoyable, educational explanations of bee activity. It?s particularly timely, given the plight of honey bees, and a fascination glimpse of the natural world.
— New Age Retailer – Janine DePaulo (December 2009)
In the Trees, Honey Bees is a picture book about the activities of honey bees. The book relays how bees search for pollen, and how they keep predators away. This book is colorfully illustrated with detailed pictures that readers of all ages will enjoy. The book is written in rhyme and offers an explanation of the bees’ activities. This allows younger children to read the rhyme, and older children to read the more advanced description found on the next page. The fact that it rhymes allows children to learn word sounds. It is a great concept book to be used when learning about honey, bugs or bees.
— Oneota Reading Journal (November 2010)
What It Is:
This unusual picture book on a day in the life of a busy honey bee hive can appeal to readers from preschoolers to older elementary school students. The author writes two different texts side by side; one, in a very large font, is in the form of a rhyming couplet suitable for very young children, i.e. “Blossoms out, Dancing scout,” while at the bottom of the page the author provides more advanced information on the part of hive life depicted in the pictures. The illustrations are extraordinary, showing details of bee life the illustrator observed using a wild hive in her own yard. “The Buzz About Honey Bees” at the end of the book offers additional information about the life cycle of these important creatures, as well as a brief bibliography including books and websites.
Why You Should Carry It:
This is a terrific book on an important and fascinating insect, and the author has done a particularly good job of both providing accurate information and creating a book that can appeal to a wide variety of ages.
What Kids Think:
This is an excellent book for reading aloud, either at school or at home. A class of 5-year-olds especially enjoyed the detailed pictures, and Bella, age 6, said the book helped you learn a lot about bees.
— TD Monthly -Margo Tanenbaum (August 2009)
This is truly a honey of a book! There is excellent educational synergy between its prose and poetry. In combination with superb illustrations, this book stands out among the crowd of children’s books on this subject.
— Gary Dunn, Dir. of Education, Young Entomologists’ Society
In the Trees, Honey Bees explains the workings of a honey bee colony in an interesting and informative way.
Cayden: “I liked learning about all of the jobs that the different bees have. My favorite ones are the guard bees that go after the intruders like the bear. I also liked how they send that one bee out to find flowers and he comes back and tells the other bees where it is. I learned a lot about bees in this book!”
If you are looking for a book that teaches about honey bees then look no further than In the Trees, Honey Bees by Lori Mortensen. Not only did my child learn a huge amount of information, so did I! Everything is presented in a straight-forward and easy to understand manner with the illustrations accurately reflecting each point being made. We highly recommend this wonderful, educational story!
— Kids Reader Views – Reviewed by Cayden Aures (age 4 ?) and Mom (May 2009)