The Bee by Becky Han, illustrated by Tindur Peturs

The Bee by Becky Han, illustrated by Tindur Peturs. Inhabit Media, 2021. 9781772273007

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover picture book

What did you like about the book? The Bee comes from the Inuit-owned and operated publishing house, Inhabit Media. According to the author material, Becky Han is an Inuk singer-songwriter who writes mostly in Inuktitut with The Bee being one of her award-winning songs. In the book, a small girl is happy to be outside with “nothing to worry about”. Soon, a bee begins to follow her crying “Qaariiaq, qaariaq”. The girl misunderstands the bee’s intentions and runs for days, from community to community until she finally (abruptly) figures out the bee means her no harm. I am thrilled that there is another “own voices” book to add to the canon and that this book comes from the Inuit people and has a modern feel. 

Anything you didn’t like about it? It was a bit abrupt. The story is quirky and under-developed. It reads like a song would and therefore misses some of the flow in the written word. Buy it anyway for its originality and its peek into Northern life.

To whom would you recommend this book?  I would recommend this to littles who are learning about bees or looking at communities. I loved its peek into Northern cultures.

Who should buy this book? This book would be a fun addition to nursery schools and early elementary libraries. Public libraries should purchase as well.

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State:

Pam WattsFlavin, Head of Children’s Services, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: October 31, 2021

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