Butterflies & Bees
by Angelina Carnevale
April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers mean butterflies and bees! I’ve collected mostly recent, but a few classic books on these two beautiful and buzzing bugs. I’ve tried to include fiction and non-fiction books across a variety of ages, and make sure that even ones you can’t get new anymore are available at libraries across the state or online to borrow or buy.
Busy Buzzers: Bees in Your Backyard
by Nancy Loewen
This non-fiction book for the younger set is perfect to read aloud in a single sitting or as a jumping off point for a unit on bees or insects. A first or second grader should be able to read this book independently as well. The illustrations are crisp, colorful and simple. The large print text talks directly to the reader, so the feel of the book is like a conversation about bees. Each two-page spread is its own topic, so a struggling reader can put in a bookmark and come back to it without having to worry about remembering what led up to it. Great for kids who are afraid of bees to learn how great they are.
You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Bees!
by Alex Woolf
This non-fiction book for older kids talks about the importance of bees to all life on the planet, gives facts about the anatomy, life cycle and behavior of social bees; and talks about other kinds of bees, dangers bees face and things kids can do to help. It does all of this in short paragraphs, many side-bars and comic-style illustrations and pop-out fun fact boxes. You can really read this book in any order, jumping around to whatever interesting fact or funny picture catches your eye. A great non-fiction read for bee enthusiasts, kids who don’t have long attention-spans for reading, or those who are scared of bees. This is one in an extensive series of non-fiction books on a variety of things people wouldn’t want to live without, from the natural to the man-made.
Please Please the Bees
by Gerald Kelley
This charming picture book tells the story of a honey-loving bear that takes the bees in his yard for granted, demanding honey from them daily without giving them anything in return, until…the bees go on strike! The bear learns the error of his ways and does a lot of research and hard work to make his yard into the perfect bee habitat. Pair it with a book about native plant gardening to jump-start a fun family project.
by Francisco Jiménez
The Spanish-speaking child of a family of migrant workers goes to school, but feels out of place because he doesn’t understand all the English-speaking children around him. He finds solace in watching the classroom’s caterpillar transform into a chrysalis and then a butterfly, and eventually bonds with others through his drawings of butterflies.
Handle With Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey
by Loree Griffin Burns
With bountiful detailed pictures and simple text, this book follows the journey of caterpillars, from egg to butterfly, at a butterfly farm in Costa Rica. By focusing on how the butterfly farmers care for each insect stage, children are introduced to the butterfly life cycle in a unique way, and learn where butterfly exhibits come from.
Plant a Pocket of Prairie
by Phyllis Root
Simple text and gorgeously detailed illustrations combine to pose the question of what might come if you plant a pocket of prairie. The answers build on each other until by the end of the book the reader is asked what might come if everyone plants a pocket of prairie, and is rewarded with a thriving landscape. Though it talks about prairie in the Midwest, this book can be used to inspire children to plant their own pockets of New England meadow and attract the animal cousins to the ones pictured.
Events at the Guilford Free Library
Making Toys for Shelter Pets: Bring your own clean, gently used jeans, t-shirts, towels, or sewing scraps to make into toys for dogs and cats in shelters to play with while they wait for their forever families to find them. (We will also have some fabric supplies.) Space is limited. All ages welcome with adult supervision. Tuesday, May 7 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Feline Friends: Branford Compassion Club will host this chat about all things cat! All ages welcome with adult supervision. Tuesday, May 7, 7-8 p.m.
Busy Bees: Learn the differences between native and honey bees and what you can do to help both, and see a live hive. Ages 4 and up. Saturday, May 11 from 11 a.m.-noon.
Storytime: Children, ages 3 and up, are welcome with their parents/ caregivers to join us for stories, songs and puppets every Thursday from 11-11:30 a.m.
The Guilford Free Library is located at 67 Park Street in Guilford. For more information about these or any of our programs, call 203-453-8282, visit www.guilfordfreelibrary.org, or simply stop by.
Angelina Carnevale is the head of children’s services at the Guilford Free Library.