It starts with a bee by Jennie Weber

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Slowly, slowly we are beginning to understand how critical bees are to our survival, and yet how endangered they are becoming, so any book for young readers that helps them understand the crucial role that bees play has to be an important addition to any collection.

Using rhyming text and delicate illustration the reader is taken on a journey through the seasons from winter to autumn showing how a garden is pollinated and thus blooms to be beautiful flowers, fruits and vegetables bringing both joy and food to our lives, culminating in a magnificent three-page spread summarising the essential elements of the process. As well, it shows how bees work together with each other and other insects creating an interdependent eco-system which we must protect.

Although created by an English illustrator who believes " if people are amazed by the natural world, then they will be less likely to destroy it." so that there is a "English country garden" feel to it, many of the plants featured are very familiar to young Australian readers, making its message as important here as it is anywhere. It is an ideal complement to books like Holly, the Honeybee Dancing Star and Bee Detectives (with its focus on Australian species), all with their strong message of not just conservation but how simple it is for even our youngest readers to ensure their safety and survival.

Themes: Bees.

Barbara Braxton