Title: Another Hive of Bees
Author: Beverley Soderholm
Major Themes: Short Stories
Synopsis: When Danny and Debbie spend the summer with their grandparents, they have many adventures, learn lessons for life, and hear stories every evening.
After I read A Hive of Busy Bees to my 5-year-old recently, he wanted to hear the second book, Another Hive of Bees. My 3-year-old asked me to read it first, because she wanted to hear the “Busy Bees” book before she fell asleep (I was reading it aloud while I rocked her for her nap). They both quite enjoyed these stories, as did the older children. These are stories that all ages will appreciate!
I like the way this book is set up, with stories-within-stories. The basic framework of the book is the eight-year-old twins, Danny and Debbie, going to spend the summer with their grandparents. Each evening, Grandma tells a story, and gives it the title of Bee Honest, Bee Determined, Bee Resolute, or whatever character quality is illustrated in the story. Sometimes this quality is suggested by the children’s experiences through the day, and sometimes not.
The children had many adventures during the summer. One of their favorite activities was collecting butterflies—but would they be able to agree on how to display them? They also learn lessons about being orderly and doing their jobs neatly and well.
The stories Grandma tells are very interesting, as well. They are about real children facing real challenges. Sometimes the children are victorious; other times they are not, and they “feel the sting of the bee” for many years. For example, one boy did not put things away when he should, and as a result his brother nearly bled to death. In another story, a girl was tempted not to polish a vase well, but did anyway and was very thankful later that she had.
These stories make wonderful bedtime stories, or are also good for starting out the day with something inspirational. As I said already, all ages will enjoy them, although the publisher recommends them for ages 5-10.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12