Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Jam and Honey

Jam and Honey

Melita Morales
Illustrator:  Laura J. Bryant 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Tricycle Press, 2011   ISBN: 978-1582462998

One day a girl goes out all by herself to pick berries so that she and her mother can make “sweet jam,” which she can put on her toast. The girl starts picking, braving the scratchy berry canes, but she cannot help feeling afraid of the bees who are buzzing around the sweet berries. Her mother tells her to hold still and she explains that the bees are there to collect the nectar.

All goes well until the girl comes nose to nose with a bee. She is scared, but she remembers her mother’s words and holds still.

On this same day a bee decides to go off on its own to collect nectar so that it can make honey when it gets home. The bee is afraid of the huge humans who are around, but it remembers what its mother told it, that people want berries not bees.

The bee is happily collecting nectar when it comes face to face with a human. The bee is scared, but it remembers to fly away. There are “plenty of vines for us to share,” it thinks.

This sweetly simple yet meaningful picture book shows young readers that they can peacefully coexist with insects, and that they can easily share nature’s bounty with them. Presented from the point of view of both the child and the bee, this book will help adults teach their children that it is important to respect all livings things, even little creatures that buzz.