Kaia and the Bees
Maribeth Boelts and Angela Dominguez
Kaia is pretty fearless but there’s one notable exception: having been stung on the foot, she’s super scared about bees despite her dad being a bee-keeper with two hives on the roof of their apartment home.
Dad does his level best to enthuse his daughter about his favourite topic but it takes being found out about her aversion by the children who also live in her block for Kaia to overcome her melissophobia.
With protective suit on she follows her Dad up the stairs and out onto the roof. There her bee education continues apace and her fear of the little insects slowly diminishes
until she thoughtlessly removes one of her gloves and OUCH! Kaia is stung again. “I’m never EVER going near those bees again!” she cries and sticks to her word.
Soon comes the time for collecting the honey from the hives. The family work hard all day in the kitchen filling jars with sweet smelling golden honey.
Then Dad’s “It’s a mystery, isn’t it!’ awakens a feeling of wonder in the girl and later, after another bee encounter, Kaia understands something about the tiny creatures that she’d never considered before.
At last she appreciates just how incredible bees are and alongside that, she finally feels brave inside.
Maribeth Boelts’ story that gently educates about the importance of bees is written from the perspective of being part of a bee-keeping family and she fully appreciates both how awesome and vital to our ecosystem the creatures are, as well as understanding that some people might, like Kaia, feel scared unless helped to overcome their fear. This understanding can be applied to a fear of anything, making the book even more helpful.
I love that Kaia’s family live in an urban location; and Angela Dominguez’s mixed-media illustrations both provide detail about bee keeping and clearly show the characters’ feelings throughout.