Beekeeper Boelts infuses her narrative with both appropriate vocabulary and empathy…Dominguez accurately depicts apiary equipment and practices in her friendly cartoons, and she peoples the story with a diverse cast not typically seen in kids’ books about beekeeping. Kaia is biracial, with a black dad and white mom. Could be just the ticket for turning bee-phobes into beekeepers.
Kids will relate to Kaia’s fear and her determination to be brave. Although she understands bees’ importance in the environment and knows that she has her father’s support, she finds courage only when she begins to consider the bees’ viewpoint. An introduction to bees emerges through the natural- sounding dialogue in this expressive picture book.
The book effectively evokes the physicality of anxiety (“I get twisty inside”) and respects the fact that getting over a fear isn’t a one-time thing but often requires some mental negotiation and patience…this might give the kid who screeches at the slightest buzz a pause before wildly swatting the air.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Warm mixed-media cartoon illustrations depict a loving (biracial) family in a cozy urban home where greenery flourishes both inside and out. Bold outlines convey Kaia’s large emotions, while the narrative intersperses basic facts about the lives and work of honeybees.
—The Horn Book