The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter
Shabazz Larkin’s The Thing About Bees is a Norman Rockwell-inspired Sunday in the park, a love poem from a father to his two sons, and a tribute to the bees that pollinate the foods we love to eat. Children are introduced to different kinds of bees, “how not to get stung,” and how the things we fear are often things we don’t fully understand.
Shabazz Larkin made his picture book illustration debut with Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table, followed by his author/illustrator debut with A Moose Boosh: A Few Choice Words About Food, both named American Library Association Notable Children’s Books. He is a multi-disciplinary artist and an advertising creative director. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and two sons. SHABAZZLARKIN.COM.
There are some pages that are great resources about bees and wasps, such as which ones are likely to sting and how to avoid it/approach them. There is also information about how they help with pollination and how this in turn leads to fruits. These additions take the book a couple steps further into education as well as fun.
What I loved: The artwork here really steals the show- it is so gorgeous just to look through. My favorite page shows a young child in a bee costume riding on another's back in the center of an abstract flower. It is hard to describe but easy to enjoy. The text not only expresses love for the reader- perfect for a caregiver sharing with a child- but also explains about why bees are so important with information on pollination and how plants grow fruit. The page spread that explains about different kinds of bees/wasps and how to not get stung is really informative, and even taught me some new things!
Final verdict: Beautifully illustrated and informative, THE THING ABOUT BEES: A LOVE LETTER is a fantastic book for elementary-school aged readers to share with the adults in their lives. Highly recommend for anyone who wants to know more about bees- whether you've already been stung or not!