Barnabas Barnheart, The Bumble Bee
Reviewed by Cayden (age 4 ½) and Max (age 2 ½) Aures and Mom for Reader Views (3/09)
The book “Barnabas Barnheart, The Bumble Bee” introduces us to a special bee named Barnabas.
Cayden: “I liked learning that bumble bees only buzz when they are flying. Max and I had fun pretending that we were flying and making the ‘Zzzzzzzz’ noise. There aren’t hardly any pictures in this book though. Lots of pages just have one bee or just a flower. How come the bee doesn’t have any black stripes?”
Max: “I liked saying ‘Zzzzzzzz’ on every page.”
My children did not find “Barnabas Barnheart, The Bumble Bee” to be very appealing or engaging, except for when they ran around pretending to be bees. The illustrations were quite simplistic and repetitive. Maybe I am missing something, but I was a little confused about the part of the book where it says “Before him, there were no other bees. Lots of other bees came along … Still – there was not one, no one like Barnabas Barnheart. For the Good Creator made Barnabas- ALL that the Good Creator makes is good!” Does this mean that the other bees were not made by the “Good Creator” and were not good? I just found that section to be worded a little strangely. While the overall message that the book sends is a good one, I would reword some sections and add more to the illustrations in order to better engage the target audience.