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UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  320 ratings  ·  95 reviews
The buzz is big for Douglas Florian’s new poetry collection about the unBEElieveably unique lives of honeybees—and the vital role they play in our ecosystem.

Come inside the honeycomb—a busy, buzzy, bee-filled home—and learn about the unexpected wonders of these tiny insects’ lifestyles, families, and communities. In fourteen funny, fact-filled honeybee poems and paintings,
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Beach Lane Books
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1. Twin Text: The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi, copyright 2011

2. Rationale: The nonfiction text, UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings, is a delightful hybrid of a book, pairing facts about honeybees with gorgeous paintings and engaging poems. One of my favorite poems, “Worker Bees,” tells the plight of these hard-working insects:

Not one brother.
Not one mister.
See us sisters work all day,
Dawn to dusk – no time to play.

The poem goes on to detail the workers’ chores, and
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In his inimitable style, Douglas Florian fashions a book of 14 poems about bees. While many of the poems contain clever wordplay, they also provide information about bees for readers. Each poem is accompanied by short text that adds to what they know about bees--and there's something new to learn for just about everyone. A pollen-laden bee is described as "a fuzzy, flying flower!" (unpaged), and the Queen Bee is "no ordinary bee" (unpaged), the drone needs to be cautioned to "Bee-have in your hi ...more
Ruthie Jones
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ruthie by: Ajhar Ellis
This lovely little book for kids is quite informative and covers all the basics of honeybee life. The poems are short, funky, and clever, and they cover each type of honeybee (e.g., drones and workers) and all their habits, characteristics, and methods to serve and protect the queen and produce such deliciousness to sweeten our lives. Those brave beekeepers have a poem as well!

A paragraph of useful information accompanies each poem. The last page presents the dilemma of the vanishing honeybees b
Paul  Hankins
Catch the "buzz" on this new collection of poems from Douglas Florian. With non-fiction elements embedded upon each page, this CCSS-ready collection would be a real "honey" for inclusion in units regarding nature, insects, bees.

"Ladder" this one up with:

THE HIVE DETECIVES by Loree Griffin Burns
CLAN APIS (graphic novel)
HONEYBEE by Naomi Shihab Nye
THE BEE TREE by Patricia Polacco
Edward Sullivan
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Fun poems acommpanied with bee facts and delightful illustrations.
Mary Lee
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Classic (fabulous) Florian poems and paintings, paired with bee facts to go with every poem. Perfection!!
Krysten Morgan
Oct 02, 2019 added it
Shelves: poetry
Genre: Poetry
Grade Levels: K-4
Themes: Bees
Major Award: Cybils Awards Finalist (2012)

Summary- This book covers a wide array of information about bees in a poetry format. Each bee subtopic has a poem briefly describing the topic and then a fun fact about real bees. The poem Bee Anatomy is a fun discussion of what a bee’s body is made up of. It also has a fact and image that explains the three segments, antennae, eyes, and lots of other parts of the bee.

Personal Response- This book of poems is so
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderfully written children’s book, that can also be for any age. The way it integrates poetry, facts, and visuals is spectacular. Each page is complete with a children’s drawing that correlates to the topic of the poem and also contains a short informative description of that topic. Having each poem centralized around a main aspect or theme taken from a honeybee’s life effectively helps the reader understand and connect with each part. Following each poem is a short addition of infor ...more
Tam Newell
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
2019 Family Dinner Book Club book. Each page is a different poem about bees followed by some informational text. All pages lead to the plight of bees and how we need them. Poems were cute — information resourceful.
Lorraine McFarland
This book is a clever mix of poetry and informational text with wonderful illustrations in between. It follows the life cycle of a bee and tells a poem, then has a paragraph about the facts bees go through. I liked the mix of informational and poetry.
Julie Rand
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-book
The title and cover image immediately set the reader’s expectations about what this book will be about and what it will bee (pun intended) like: poems and paintings about bees which include puns and word play that are mostly humorous. Before ever opening the book you expect to be entertained and amused.

Florian definitely delivers but also adds more. Each facing double page spread has a painting and a poem with factual information about bees at the bottom of the page.

This book is meant to be rea
UnBEElievables is a delightful picture book of poems and paintings of honeybees. The clever, rhyming poems also teach facts about bees. On the bottom of each page of poems is an informative paragraph that gives additional facts related to the content of the poem. There are poems on honeybee hives, their anatomy, the queen bee, the drones, the worker bees, the life cycle, making honey, etc. Grades 2-5.

Curriculum Connection: This would be a good book to use with ISTE Standard 2d: provide students
Nov 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
UnBEElieveables is a book filled with poems and descriptions of bees. The poems range from the anatomy of a bee to the honey that they make. The book is a great way for readers to learn about bees through different styles of writing. The poems are lighthearted and fun, which draws readers in an enables them to see bees as more than an insect. The book gives us the opportunity to gain a better insight to what bees are and what they do in a way that is much more fun and interesting for all ages. T ...more
Kayla Rhome
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, science, fiction
Plot Summary:
-The poetry collection UnBEElievables is written by Douglas Florian. This poetry set is a set of honeybee poems and paintings that describe the hive of bees and their way of life through poems. Looking at one individual poem, "Worker Bees," this describes the jobs of the worker bees in the bee hive. At the end of each individual poem in the poetry set there is a side note of facts about the poem that was written on that page. For example, for the "Worker Bees" poem there is a paragr
Florence Baumgardner
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All children!
UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Pintings by Douglas Florian
ISBN 978-1-4424-2652-8
UnBEEleivables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings is a book of poetry written and illustrated by Douglas Florian. This book has been written for children P-Primary ages 5-8. The book is filled with 14 fun filled poems' about the types of Honeybees found in a hive, their anatomy and what each one does. How they collect pollen and make honey and much more. On the bottom of each page, additional facts about Honeybees c
Derek Slagle
Oct 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This book is a collection of poems about bees and the various roles that bees have. It examines different types of bees and has factual information about each type of bee to go along with the poems. This book does a good job examining poetic features while keeping the text basic for young children.
This book would be good for a class based around bees. I could have the children create many crafts using different bees for each craft. Along with the crafts it would be fun to have the children crea
Brittany Martz
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I really like this poetry book because it includes both a poem and an informational piece about bees on every page. The book is not only cute and creative, but it includes a lot of information that children can learn about bees from. Each page is a different topic such as pollen, the beekeepers, and worker bees just to name a few. I would read this whole book to my children instead of just picking out a single poem to read because the information all comes together to create one book. The illust ...more
DyolF Dixon
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
unBEElievables, honeybee poems and paintings, by Douglas Florian, is a book of poems and illustrations about bees. The lines in some of the poems’ patterns suggest what the bees are doing in the poems. The author uses, onomatopoeia, the sounds the bees makes and the word bee to make words. The word “because” becomes “bee-cuzz” and “That’s what we duzz” to change the spelling to a bee buzzing sound. The unusual spelling of words is funny and brings up images of bees buzzing.
On the same page as th
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Inside the honeycomb, meet the Queen, the workers, the drones, and see the eggs ( pupa)so loveingly taken care of. With childlike crayon inspired illustrations kids will realte to the predominanat yellow, black, and brown color scheme. (It made me want to go out and buy some honey NOW!
There is a great description pf baa anatomy, everything is labelled. The Queen wears a crown as all good Queens should. Drons are presented as urban soldires, workers are a combo of bakers, dust rakers, and homemak
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the second poetry book I have read from this author and it is an awesome blend of information and poetry. Douglas Florian combines bee poems with a captioned picture. The title is a play on words, and even the title page is in the shape of a hexagon like a honey comb. The illustrations of different types of bees are a blend of painting and text in a collage style. There is a labeled diagram of bee body parts along with a poem of bee parts. There are bee poems written from different point ...more
Bridget R. Wilson
Florian goes bee crazy in his new collection. In 14 poems, he explores every aspect of the honeybee's life. Extra facts make the poems even better because the reader discovers that the poems are based on fact.

What I thought: I'm a serious Florian fan! What I like most about this collection is the factoids. I recently used his Insectlopedia in a family story time and the kids wanted to know more about the insects the poems were about. The format he uses in UnBEElievables is perfect. Florian's col
From the bee-ginning to the Bee-bliography, this poetry book is delightfully ‘buzzy’ with all sorts of bee information. Each page illustrates particular concepts with charming bees who have children’s faces, a poem and accompanying explanation. For instance, the poem titled Drone begins BROTHER!/Yo BROTHER! /Bee-have in your hive!/Hey, DRONE!/Don’t MOAN!/Don’t GROAN!/And don’t JIVE! It continues to talk about their main work with the queen-very important! There are poems about the stages until t ...more
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Making this a "pass". The poetry is not extraordinary, but I think it is great for 5th and 6th graders learning to write their own poetry, since they tend to learn by imitation. Mostly the poetry all follows the AABB rhyme scheme, which is simplistic, yet effective as an instructional tool. I see it being used more in schools than being a popular library item. A nice added feature is that each poem has an accompanying scientific fact about the science of bee colonies, which could easily lend its ...more
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings is a collection of poems about bees. The poems contain factual information about bees. On each page there is a poem along with a strip of information about each aspect of the type of bee the poem talks about. This is a very neat way of incorporating poetry and nonfictional text. There are several ways a person could use this book. One way is to pair this book with other poetry books in a poetry unit and another way is to pair this book with other book ...more
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012-13
I really enjoy Florian's poems and paintings. His honeybee poems are good and cover bee anatomy, hives, beekeepers, the queen, the drones, the worker bees and more. The last poem mentions the recent disappearance of honeybees and reminds us of their importance. For some reason I didn't love this collection as much as have others of Florian. I liked the bee facts that were included, but maybe I'd like it better if they were included as notes in the back?
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Florian really has a knack for creating poems about nature and then adorning them with wonderful paintings. This book is all about bees--I didn't think you could write that many poems about bees, but yes, yes you can! Honeybees, queen bees, drones, workers, pollen, honey, the hive, bee anatomy--it's all here. There are nice prose blurbs on each page, too, expanding on the content of the poem. A great elementary classroom (or home) resource!
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book includes upbeat poems and vivid illustrations (all by Florian) paired with interesting facts about bees. It would be a great addition for a unit/program about bees. These lines: “All day we bees/Just buzz and buzz./That’s what we duzz/And duzz and duzz" make me laugh because it reminds me of a song by Ke$ha. Like the pop singer, this book isn't deep or earth-shattering but is very catchy and fun.
Holly Mueller
The paintings in this treasure of a poetry book are awesome, ranging from humorous to beautiful. I especially loved the drones depicted as hiphop gangstas. Too funny! The poems are accompanied by bee facts, all of which are fascinating. Another example, like Singer's A Strange Place to Call Home, of how students could present research facts in a creative way. This would make a great companion book to Hive Detectives: ...more
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
UnBeelievables is a great introduction to the ins and outs of honey bee life to children. The poems are quite amusing whilst also informative and are followed up with some great relevant factual information. For example there is a page on the queen, a page for the workers, the beekeepers, explaining the wiggle dance and also swarms. There are also links to further reading in the 'Beebliography' in case the book incites a real interest in bees in the reader.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Each page has a poem on a different topic related to bees, as well as a small paragraph with more information on the topic. The illustrations are bright and colorful and fun to look at. I used this for my preschool lesson on bees- it was maybe a little bit over their heads, so I would suggest it more for Kinder and up.
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