Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Humblebee Hunter

The Humblebee Hunter
by Deborah Hopkinson; illustrated by Jen Corace
Disney Hyperion Books, 2010. Unpaged. Picture book.

Little Etty can't wait to go outside to help her father study bees--that is a much more interesting pastime than baking indoors on a beautiful, sunny day! The children are delighted and excited to discover how many flowers a bee can pollinate in a minute. As Etty and her siblings observe the bees and their pollination patterns, their father, Charles Darwin, teaches them about the process of scientific theorizing.

This is a lovely picture book that humanizes a well-known figure, Charles Darwin. Many people probably don't consider him having an ordinary, day-to-day life as a father and husband, but this book beautifully portrays it and gives him another face than just the Father of Evolution. I also appreciated it showing what joy can be found in the process of learning and discovering. The illustrations are lovely, especially in the palette used, making vivid images with closeups of the bees and the children's excited faces. All together, this is a great book to introduce a famous man to young children.

In this lovely book about the Charles Darwin and his family, we are allowed a glimpse into the more human side of a brilliant man that people often think of as more of an theory than a person. As his children help him study the garden bees, learning about pollination, they are also growing closer together as a family. This is a wonderful tribute to an amazing man.

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