HONEY HARVEST

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A dark-haired, rosy-cheeked White kid loves honey and imagines what bees must look like when they produce it: “Do all the bees wear tiny goggles? / All lined up, filling bear shaped bottles.” When the child gets to help harvest the honey, first donning a beekeeper suit, the process is surprising. The hive is just a wooden box with slats. But the father explains that the slats are where bees store honey. Together, they pull a few slats (not too many, or the hive will suffer), take them to the extractor, spin the honey, and bottle it to share with friends. Kerr’s rhymes deftly describe each step of the honey process, giving young readers a sense of where this sweet originates and how it gets to their tables. The lines are occasionally shorter than the established pattern, with the vocabulary accessible to independent readers. Saunders’ soft-lined, cartoon illustrations are mostly realistic representations (with the exception of the narrator’s imagined honey factory). A curious skunk appears in several images, inviting young readers to spot the animal throughout. The White family’s neighbors in the final image show some variety in skin tone.

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