The Thing about Bees: A Love Letter

by Shabazz Larkin

Bees buzz too close. They land on food. And of course they can sting, an African... read more

Bees buzz too close. They land on food. And of course they can sting, an African American dad acknowledges. But worse than their sting would be no bees at all, he explains to his children, reciting a delicious list of reasons why bees are so important. Without them, there would be “no more picnics with watermelon … no more avocados for tacos … no apples, which means no more pie.” In fact, the dad says, “bees are just like you!” Cleverly describing his kids’ behavior in the same bee-like terms of annoyance, he concludes, “But I never stop loving you. You’re … the apple pie of my eye .… my cold watermelon .… the avocados in my tacos. You’re my strawberry heart.” Author/artist Shabazz Larkin was inspired to create this charming, heartfelt, beautifully crafted “love letter” to bees and to his children out of the desire to not pass on his own fear of bees. The warm, lively illustrations are based on photographs he staged with his family. End matter includes a brief guide (with photos) to bees and wasps and “how not to get stung.” Highly Commended, 2020 Charlotte Zolotow Award (Ages 2–7)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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