Kaia and the Bees

Kaia and the Bees cover
Kaia and the Bees by Maribeth Boelts. Illustrated by Angela Dominguez

by Maribeth Boelts
Illustrated by Angela Dominguez

Candlewick, 2020
32 pages

Ages 4-7

Kaia is happy to tell her friends everything her beekeeper dad has taught her about bees and how important they are, talking as if she’s a beekeeper, too. But in truth, she’s afraid of bees. Her secret is out the day she panics in front of her friends when a bee lands on her. Enough, thinks Kaia. Telling her dad she’s ready, she dons her child-sized beekeeper suit and accompanies him to the hives on their apartment rooftop. In spite of her fear, she’s soon holding a frame full of bees. They’re fascinating! Then her glove gets wet; she takes it off and…ouch! When it’s time to harvest the honey, Kaia still doesn’t want to return to the hives after being stung. Instead she helps in the kitchen, pondering the wonder of sweet honey coming from such tiny creatures. When she sees two bees inside the kitchen window, she realizes that maybe they aren’t out to get her after all. Maybe they just want a way out. In this engaging, honest account, biracial Kaia (her dad is Black, her mom appears white) still finds bees scary, but also “amazing,” and “mysterious.” She’ll go on the roof again, she tells her dad, because bees are worth it, and now “something inside me is …. brave.”. ©2020 Cooperative Children’s Book Center