The Thing About Bees

ISBN 9780998047799

Regular price $28.95 Sale price $24.50 Save 15%

Only 2 items in stock!

A Love Letter, by Shabazz Larkin


"Sometimes bees can be a bit rude.
They fly in your face and prance on your food."

And yet… without bees, we might not have strawberries for shortcakes or avocados for tacos!

Shabazz Larkin’s 
The Thing About Bees is a Norman Rockwell-inspired Sunday in the park, a love poem from a father to his two sons, and a tribute to the bees that pollinate the foods we love to eat.

Children are introduced to different kinds of bees, “how not to get stung,” and how the things we fear are often things we don’t fully understand.

Shabazz Larkin made his picture book illustration debut with 
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table, followed by his author/illustrator debut with A Moose Boosh: A Few Choice Words About Food, both named American Library Association Notable Children’s Books and published by READERS to EATERS. He is a multi-disciplinary artist and an advertising creative director. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and two sons. More about him at studioshabazz.

Recoomended for ages 3-8 years, or for anyone who would like to work with through a fear of bees.

Hardcover, 32 pages.

Published by Readers to Eaters.


Winner, "Growing Good Kids" Book Award, Junior Master Gardener Program & American Horticultural Society• Best Picture Books 2019 List, School Library Journal• "Best Children's Book of the Year 2018, Bank Street College of Education's Children's Book Committee• "Highly Commended" Title, Charlotte Zolotow Award 2020• "CCBC Choices,” Cooperative Children's Book Center• Capitol Choices 2020

*Best Picture Books 2019* 

“Larkin spins a buoyant monologue to his young sons about why bees are so important and how they are analogous to rambunctious children; the narrative is threaded with unconditional love for both subjects. Hand lettering, bold coloring, and textural, mixed-media artwork add energy while evocative language makes for a spirited and joy-filled read-aloud."—School Library Journal

“A holistic—and wholly original—treatment.”—“Starred” review, School Library Journal

“In this beautiful exploration of what bees mean to the world and what his sons mean to him, Larkin seeks to alleviate a child’s fear of these insects by explaining how they are integral to the creation of their favorite fruits… The gorgeous artwork featuring a family of color, a simplified exploration of entomology, and a note from the author about seeking to understand things that scare us help to make this book a solid recommendation for picture book collections.” —Booklist

“Starring an affectionate family and a whole lot of bees, Larkin offers up a sparkling celebration of necessary pollinators… Full-bleed spreads, ’inspired by the techniques of... Kehinde Wiley and Norman Rockwell,’ show a family of color interacting with the insects out of doors… Imaginative and playful, Larkin’s images of the family’s encounters with bees and the fruits and vegetables they help produce helps them understand the role of pollinators—and provides stylish entertainment.” 
—Publishers Weekly

"Larkin, a father of young children and a profound melissophobe, dug into the dizzying variety of bee species and the roles they play in the global food web, all in order to ease his own fear and avoid passing that fear on to his children. The result is a sweet, gentle picture book that, with Larkin’s playful, abstract art, can inspire a sense of wonder and respect for nature’s buzzing buddies. Be sure to check out the 'How Not to Get Stung' chart at the back."

—Civil Eats

"Larkin delivers a love poem to bees and his children... This paean to bees is just the ticket.” 
—Kirkus Reviews

"A sweet, funny read-aloud to share with the ones you love, even better if it helps to assuage any fears and to build appreciation of bees."
—BayViews, The Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California

The Thing About Bees is a fun read and filled with important lessons —for kids and adults, about how essential bees are to the food we love to eat! This book will spark the curiosity in every child to learn more about the power of pollinators.” —Nona Evans, Executive Director, Whole Kids Foundation

"This is a book of sweet whimsy that can start conversations about courage, the interconnectedness of all living things, and the way that scary, difficult creatures can also be lovable. It's a love letter from a father to his two sons as well as a primer on must-know facts about bees. So much accessible wisdom packed into one children's book!  — Anne Fishel, Ph.D., Director, The Family Dinner Project; Director, The Family & Couples Therapy Program, Mass General Hospital

The Thing About Bees is sweet as honey and lyrical as a song. Larkin takes the stinging fear out of bees as he connects pollinators with raspberries for pancakes, picnics with watermelon, and the strawberry heart love of a father for his buzzing kids. This book is perfect for any kids who, like mine, fear bees and want to understand why they exist.” —Anna Mulé, Executive Director, Slow Food USA

"Kids and bees can be rambunctious, but of course we need them both. Larkin's playful father-son story gathers up the sweetness of life with unconditional love."

—Javaka Steptoe, Winner, Caldecott Medal,
Radiant Child, Coretta Scott King Award, In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall

“The Thing About Bees helps frightened children face their fears of these pesky critters and explains why we need bees, all in the context of a delightful family romp. With this empowering book in hand, kids will get more comfortable sharing the world with bees and appreciate the science of pollination.” —Dr. Claire A.B. Freeland, clinical psychologist & co-author, What To Do When Fear Interferes: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Phobias

About the Author

Shabazz Larkinmade his illustrator debut with FARMER WILL ALLEN AND THE GROWING TABLE and his author/illustrator with A MOOSE BOOSH: A FEW CHOICE WORDS ABOUT FOOD . Both were named Notable Children's books by the American Library Association. He is also an advertising creative director and multi-disciplinary artist, painting vibrant portraiture on canvas, typographic printing techniques and film. He is most known for his Black Magic" collection, a series of portraits that capture the beauty of resilience in black culture. He lives in Nashville, TN. SHABAZZLARKIN.COM"