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The Honeybee

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  854 ratings  ·  190 reviews
Buzz from flower to flower with a sweet honeybee in this timely, clever, and breathtakingly gorgeous picture book from critically acclaimed author Kirsten Hall and award-winning illustrator Isabelle Arsenault.


What’s that?
Do you hear it?
You’re near it.
It’s closer,
it’s coming,
it’s buzzing,
it’s humming…


With zooming, vibrant verse by Kirsten Hall and buzzy,
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  854 ratings  ·  190 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Love, love, love this enchanting book that reveals the day-to-day activities of honeybees. Lyrical wordplay, chic black and white illustrations with pops of bright colors, and cute little bees with ribbons round their necks. An adorable must-read!

Dave Schaafsma
The key here is the artwork by Isabelle Arsenault, as it always is with every picture book she does. Get your hands on everything she has done. I am a huge fan. This one features what you can see from the cover, vibrant yellow, gold, tangerine, watercolors. Much of the text rhymes, and is also vibrant, but also informational, about bees and what they contribute to our world. Followed by a letter to readers about the importance of the all-important and endangered bees to the continuance of the pl ...more
This is a wonderful singing verse with such fun illustrations and art. I really do love this book. It is all about the dance of the honeybee and why and how they do what they do. I love the little waggle dance the bees do.

Both kids are into a big bee phase right now and we are reading all kinds of things about the honey bees. They loved this book.

It really was a fantastic little story. It’s so beautiful. This is one of my favorites of the year.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who love beautiful illustrations and nature
Recommended to Hilary by: Abigail
Such a beautiful book, wonderful illustrations and perfectly designed pages, reminiscent of Lucienne Day, 5 stars plus for those. I loved the cute smiley honeybees. The text is good too, and very informative, although I found that in the battle between the information rich text and the lovely eye candy illustrations, I was ignoring the bee information and just enjoying the visuals, the facts couldn't compete for me. I love Isabelle Arsenault, Lucienne Day, bees, and the colour yellow so my eyes ...more
I love the bright colours! So wonderful on a cold and grey January day! And of course Isabelle Arsenault is among my Apostles of Art: she can do no wrong and I simply revere her. She was the reason I borrowed this book from the library to begin with, as I hadn't kept up with her in a while and have borrowed a stack of some of her work I've managed to miss (quite a lot of it, apparently as she's a busy artist!).

This is a book originally written for beginner readers, but adults like me will be de
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the author conveys good information about honeybees, I actually decided to check this book out for the illustrations, which as beautiful. Though the text isn’t written in verse, I could imagine it set to music to accompany the lovely pictures.
Vibrant illustrations guide bees to flowers and pollen in this rhyming story of how bees make honey. Some illustrations and text are a bit misleading - it seems like the bees are making honey out of the pollen they collect (honey is made from the nectar, and pollen is collected, too, to make into other food for the hive). The hive/honeycomb is also shown attached directly to tree branches, which doesn't really happen in cold climates - they tend to nest in cavities. A note to readers offers some ...more
Hannah Jane
The language in The Honeybee is like a song - "This is the flower the bee has chosen. This is the flower the pollen grows in." And, "Chew, chew - we're changing its makeup, we're giving the nectar a chemical shake-up." The illustrations are zippy, exciting, and beautiful. I cannot decide which I like best - the dancing bees illustration or the hive in the tree near the end. I think there's so much storytime potential with this book. There's lots of movement and rhyme. Children can buzz, tap, and ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Bee-Lovers / Fans of Kirsten Hall and/or Isabel Arsenault
American author Kirsten Hall and French-Canadian illustrator Isabelle Arsenault join forces in this beautiful picture-book tribute to the honeybee. In simple, poetic text, the activities of the bee, as it works toward producing honey, are set out. From gathering nectar from the flowers to filling the honeycomb, the honeybee keeps busy, always flying around, always buzzing, always working. Most of all, though: always helping the world's pollination process...

As is clear from Hall's afterword, the
Mrs.Melaugh Melaugh
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A spirit of admiration for bees dominates this upbeat, informative glimpse into the life of a worker bee. The story starts in a field of flowers where the bee searches until it finds the perfect flower, “This is the flower the bee has chosen. / This is the flower the pollen grows in. / This is the flower, its color so bright, / its sweet blooming scent calls the bee from its flight.” The bee laps up nectar then heads back to the hive where the process of making honey is described. Eventually, th ...more
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Really charming, beautiful illustrations and well described bee-havior (get it?!?). I thought there was a lot of information in this book and was unsure what age the target audience is. My suggestion is 2nd or 3rd grade just because of the amount of content. Although I enjoy rhyming text, some of the rhymes seemed forced here. I really like the book but maybe a wee bit of editing before publication?
The Library Lady
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura (Book Scrounger)
I enjoyed the cute illustrations here, as well as the poetic-but-factual text. Full review here: ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This rhyming picture book packs in a ton of info about the behavior of bees and how they make honey. Author Kirsten Hall includes a letter to the reader at the end about how we can be helpful to bees. Her text is rollicking and rhythmic, begging to be read aloud by someone theatrical, perhaps with a penchant for rapping. :) Illustrations (and a specially-created Honeybee font!) by Isabelle Arsenault feature an eye-catching use of neon orange in an otherwise muted palette.
Judy Ripke
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: previews
Fun way to learn facts about bees.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Both joyous and informative, this lovely book makes me feel both happy and hopeful.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it

An interactive book with all the different sound effects that can be made. A book that can be used for teaching preschoolers about bees. I enjoyed the illustrations and colors.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This beautiful book is about bees, flowers, and the art of growing. The poetry is descriptive but easy for younger students to read and understand. The reader learns about bees and their busy job going from flower to flower to help our gardens grow. The illustrations are rich and exciting for students to look at too. I would use this book to also inspire questioning the transition between winter to spring, a garden unit, or another lesson on descriptive vocabulary.
Chance Lee
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-it
The flap text reads like a horror movie -- BZZZ... What's that? Do you hear it? You're near it. It's closer, it's coming, it's buzzing, it's humming. --IT'S MICHAEL MYERS.

No, it's a bee and it's ADORABLE.

Beautifully illustrated, rhythmic text, and educational about the life and purpose of a honeybee. Extended information in the endpapers.
Absolutely stunning art work. A bit long but the subject and illustrations make up for it.
Kirsti Call
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Delightful rhyming text that is engaging and informative! Buzzz-tastic!
Ruth Anne
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A story about the life of a bee, but also with some factual information about what they do with pollen and nectar. Magnificent illustrations. Includes a letter to the reader with suggestions on how to 'BEE HELPFUL' to the honeybees. ...more
This story tells of how important the life of the honeybee is. It tracks the bees movement during the course of a year, and how it collects pollen, and turns it into honey.
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Illustrator Isabelle Arsenault makes an energetic pairing with Hall's active and informative story. Fun to read aloud and the busy bees are always on the moves. ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The amazingly bright illustrations carry the book. And the story was good...that's how much I loved the illustrations. ...more
May 24, 2018 added it
Shelves: not-finished
Look, I'm not as afraid of bees as I used to be, but seeing the two page spread of a honeybee was enough for me to stop reading this book. ...more
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I like the idea of this book and the pictures are great. It's very creative. However the rhyming felt forced and like I was tripping over it as I read. ...more
Hallie Jackson Brackett
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great picture book for K-2.
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, picture-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annie Young
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! She can flow! I found myself rapping this book in verse. Great art, too! And the informational page on the back is well done and so very thoughtful.
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