When the Bees Buzzed Off! is a fabulous book to read at this time of year. This beautifully illustrated lift-the-flap story takes us deep down into the undergrowth of a garden where a group of insects are panicking because they can’t find the bees.
The Story: Garden insects start to panic as they can’t see any bees. The bravest and cleverest minibeasts search the vegetable patch and in the undergrowth but can’t find them. At the end of the day they find the bees in a sunny clearing. The bees explain that they need flowers so the insects come up with a plan to bring the bees back to the garden.
At a time when the bee population is declining we’re very conscious about planting more bee friendly flowers in our garden and When the Bees Buzzed Off! is a fabulous story which explains to children, in a very simple way, the role of bees and how we can attract them back to our gardens. The story is beautifully illustrated and includes bugs and insects of all kinds including caterpillars, beetles, slugs and ladybirds.
Most of the story is told using speech bubbles as the insects discuss how and where they can look for the bees and tension rises throughout the story as they are nowhere to be found (although several insects the same colour as bees are discovered along the way). Each page includes a large flap which gives information about pollination and the consequences of the disappearance and there are explanations about why bees can pollinate flowers in a way that other insects can’t. We found it really interesting to see how raspberries would look if they weren’t pollinated.
There is a lot of humour in the dialogue behind the smaller flaps which also give information about other insects and how they are different from bees. Stephen Bennett uses earthy colours for the illustrations and there is so much detail in the pictures. The story takes us through a variety of environments including a pond and the vegetable garden which is our favourite spread – we love the giant carrot tops. The sturdy cover with its cut outs shows the insects that are included in the book, it’s a fun story for introducing children to different kinds of insects.
When the Bees Buzzed Off! is a brilliant story to include in a classroom topic on minibeasts. It could be used to stimulate a classroom display as well as initiate a research session into how bees pollinate flowers and make honey. The story is perfect for helping to educate children about the importance of our bee population and how we can all help to ensure bees’ survival.
Author: Lula Bell / Illustrator: Stephen Bennett
Thank you Little Tiger Press for sending this fabulous book, it’s an enjoyable story that also stimulates lots of discussion and learning.