Interview sponsored* by Carol Ann Kearns, Ph.D.
The Children’s Book Review | December 11, 2017
The Children’s Book Review: Bumble Bees: Buzzing, Beautiful, Beneficial, Big Bees is an informative book that focuses on the science behind bumblebees. It aims to encourage a generation of children to be unafraid of these important critters and to get outside and explore nature . Can you tell us who the intended audience for this book is?
Carol Ann Kearns, Ph.D.: Bumble Bees: Buzzing, Beautiful, Beneficial, Big Bees is geared toward middle grade students. It contains lots of photographs, delightful facts, plus suggestions for outdoor activities that will help kids learn about the bumble bees that live in their neighborhoods. Although the book is geared towards children, there is plenty of engaging information that will fascinate people of all ages.
Was there a particular moment that inspired you to write this book?
I have been studying pollinators for several decades. In recent years, the public has recognized the importance of pollinators, particularly bees and has become involved in efforts to conserve pollinators. Pollinators are so important for food production and for the continuation of natural ecosystems. I regularly participate in school programs to teach children about the importance of pollinators.
Like most adults, children know about honey bees, but often know little about native bees. Bumble bees are large, fuzzy, charismatic, colorful native bees that are easy to observe. It seemed important to introduce children to native bees that are common and easily studied in both urban and rural areas.
As a pollination biologist and educator at the University of Colorado, you are clearly an expert in your field. What went into developing the text and deciding on specific information you wanted included on the pages?
Having spoken to many school groups about bees, it was easy to present the bumble bee life history as a story. Working with kids, I’ve learned which facts they find intriguing. I used a lot of photographs to illustrate all the important points.
Bumble Bees is filled with many fascinating facts. Which fact do you think readers will be most captivated by?
Readers are always surprised that male bees don’t sting!… And that worker bees are all females.
There are many detailed photographs that show what bees look like close up. Did you take the photographs yourself or collaborate with a photographer?
I took many of the photographs, but some of my colleagues and family contributed wonderful photos as well. My son and I had a great time going out on photo expeditions.
What has been the best response from a reader, so far?
I’ve had a lot of comments about the large amount of information presented in such an entertaining way. Kids also like the alliteration in the title.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself, Bumble Bees: Buzzing, Beautiful, Beneficial, Big Bees, or any future books?
I have co-authored two other adult science books. Now, I am working on another children’s book and looking forward to presenting scientific information in a way that engages children and encourages them to explore nature.
By Carol Ann Kearns
Publisher’s Synopsis: Bumble bees are among the most charming, colorful and fascinating of insects. Common in gardens and meadows throughout the summer, their large size and bright colors make them both easy and fun to watch. This book, designed for young people, will delight people of all ages with interesting, factual information about bumble bees.
Carol Ann Kearns, Ph.D., is a pollination biologist and educator at the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.
Ages 9+ | Publisher: Northern Bee Books | December 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1912271047
About the Author
Carol Ann Kearns, Ph.D., is a pollination biologist and educator at the University of Colorado.
The Author Showcase is a place for authors and illustrators to gain visibility for their works. This interview was sponsored* by Carol Ann Kearns, Ph.D., the author of ‘Bumble Bees: Buzzing, Beautiful, Beneficial, Big Bees.’ Discover more great writing and illustrating artists in our Showcase.