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Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

Written by: Candace Fleming
Illustrated by:  Eric Rohmann
Approximate read time: 15 minutes
Age group: 6 – 9
Rating: B +

Book Review: Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

Honeybee is an amazingly educational story about the life of a female bee. To briefly cover what could be considered the only downside: it’s dry, which makes it less repeatable. The positives outweigh that though: it’s a structured story with a realistic plot line that builds up, and it explains in detail the process of honey-making and the valuable role of bees. Unlike much of children’s literature, it’s devoid of emotional content. Instead, the focus is on following the path of life, patiently and dutifully. There’s something very zen about this book. The illustrations perfectly match the content: informative, detailed, and pleasant. 

This book is great for adults too. Did your kids learn and enjoy this book as much as you did?

“When Apis turns twelve days old, glands in her abdomen begin making flakes of white wax. It is time for her new job.

Other information:
Robert F. Sibert Medal
Orbis Pictus Honor Book
Texas Bluebonnnet Master List
AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books Finalist
Published by: Neal Porter Books
Number of pages: 40
Language: English

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I Don’t Want to Be a Frog

Children’s books

BOOK REVIEW: I Don’t Want to Be a Frog

Written by: Dev Petty
Illustrated by: Mike Boldt
Approximate read time: 6 minutes
Age group: 3 – 7
Rating: B +

A short and sweet story that’ll hit different if you have an inquisitive toddler. I Don’t Want to be a Frog is a hilarious children’s book featuring an exchange between a parent and child, in which the youngster is determined to be a different animal; something warm and cuddly, rather than wet and slimy. The parent patiently explains the logistics, but no dice. And then, an unexpected character enters the dialogue and seals the deal once and for all. It turns out that being a frog has big benefits! Overall, this is a pretty funny and light read. The variety of scenarios that drive the young frog are interesting, and it does have the quality of being re-readable.

Do your kiddos like to pretend to be animals? Is is always the same animal, or do they try out different kinds?

“What’s wrong with being a frog anyway?”
“Too much bug eating”

Other information:
Published by: Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: 32
Language: English

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Fred Gets Dressed

Book Review: Fred Gets Dressed

Written & illustrated by: Peter Brown
Approximate read time: 8 minutes
Age group: 3 – 6
Rating: A

There’s just something about this book. Fred Gets Dressed is a quirky, fun read that’ll have you in giggles from start to finish. We follow a little boy that is delighted to romp around the house in his birthday suit. He finds himself intrigued within his parents’ closet – he has two wardrobe options, and only one fits just right. His parents respond perfectly to their kiddo’s creative expression. The uplifting story is light and silly, while also cognizant of a much deeper meaning. It’s reflective for our modern values, and simply joyful. The illustrations are uniquely adorable and well-suited, no pun intended. 

Do your kiddos occasionally have free range to romp around in their desired state of dress?  

“He romps around his bedroom and across the hall…and into Mom and Dad’s bedroom. Fred might never get dressed!”

Other information:
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: 48
Language: English

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by: Valencia Julien

Illustrations by: Sule Buse Basar
Approximate read time: 12 minutes
Age group: 5 – 9

Rating: A+

Giselle Learns About Alzheimer's. 
by: Valencia Julien
Giselle Learns About Alzheimer’s.
by: Valencia Julien

The best children’s books to read are those that tackle tough subjects, and this emerging author did so with a beautiful, heartwarming story. We’re introduced to the characters, and the overall theme, through the storyline of a little girl learning what Alzhemeir’s is. We get a simple but sufficient explanation of the condition, then how it affects her and the people around her. The value of caring relationships comes into play, as the girl makes a decision to further educate herself, seek out resources for help, and take action to the extent that she can. Her commitment pays off in a realistic way, and shows admirable reciprocity. This lovely book has themes that are relevant for many, many people. Alzheimer’s is common, and can be very confusing – especially to a child. Not only does this book explain the condition, but it shows an accessible path to coping, and more importantly, honoring our elders. 

Have you dealt with Alzheimer’s in some way, maybe through a relative? Please send in any first-hand stories you’d like to share.


“‘Well, now I can help out at home,’ Giselle said, ‘I will put sticky notes on the wall to help Nonnie remember stuff, and I’ll sing her favorite songs, because that also helps with memory.'”

Other information:

This book was written by a talented young lady, inspired by her own family and experience. She dedicated herself to educating young minds while also pursuing professional achievement. 

Number of pages: 15 
Language: English