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Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Humblebee Hunter - Deborah Hopkinson (Picture Book)

Released February 2010

Reviewed by Bob Walch

You'll meet Charles Darwin in this story narrated by his daughter Henrietta. She describes how her father takes all her brothers and sisters out for a walk near their home in the countryside of Kent, England. On this particular excursion, Darwin wants to see how many flowers a bumblebee will visit in a minute.

Enlisting the aid of the children, the curious scientist gives them the task of doing the actual counting while he keeps time. Dusting the bees with flour so they are easy to see and follow, Darwin gives each child a captured bee. Then, when he gives the signal, the children release the insects  and chase after them to see where they land and how many flowers they visit. Henrietta's bee darts around the garden and soon her tally is up to 21 stops as the insect probes various flowers.

As you read this picture book you'll discover that not only did Charles Darwin have an insatiable curiosity about nature but he was a loving father as well. Offering a different view of the famous figure, The Humblebee Hunter is an excellent way of introducing a young reader to not only a well known biologist but also the simple wonders of nature. 

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