Jam & Honey
What It Is
The old saying goes, “there are two sides to every story,” and that’s just what this new book offers. Melita Morales’ story is about a young girl who encounters a bee while out picking berries. She dramatizes this meeting with two separate first-person narratives — one from the girl’s point of view and the second from the bee’s viewpoint. In the girl’s version, she sagely heeds her mother’s advice and stands still so the bee can go about his business. The bee eventually flies away, and the girl and her mom go home with their berries to make jam. In the bee’s telling, the busy insect is equally startled when he meets up with the little girl. The smart mama bee advises him to fly high until the girl is finished collecting her berries. The bee, in turn, heads home to make his sweet honey, and all are happy.
Why It’s Fun
Ms. Morales creatively uses the dual-story format to teach a lesson that all beings have their purpose in nature. While seeing a bee may be scary, even for adults, they are just looking for nectar and will eventually fly away if we leave them alone. By humanizing the bee, the author also sends a message that creatures may also be scared of us, and we should respect them in their natural habitat.
Who’s Going To Love It
With spring upon us, this is a great preschool and kindergarten classroom read. With the harsh winter about to leave us for good this is a timely selection as bees and flowers will make their annual debut in the coming weeks. However, with simple text and illustrations, it is a very quick read and an ideal choice to seek at the library.
About two minutes
5 out of 10
Jam & Honey
By: Melita Morales, Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant
Published by: Tricycle Press, a division of Random House Children’s Books
Approximate retail price: $15.99
Publisher’s recommended ages: 3 - 5