Sunday, August 19, 2012

UnBEElievables

UnBEElievables
written and illustrated by Douglas Florian
2012 (Beach Lane Books)
Source: Orange County Library

Check out Nonfiction Monday at Jean Little Library
It's my first post for It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Welcome, welcome to our hive!                          
Honeycomb home where we thrive!                     
Into light and sweetness dive!                               
Guards greet you when you arrive!

I could write a very nice review of UnBEElievables. But that is not what I want to do right now. As an aspiring author, I want to seethe with jealousy. Have it come out the top of my head and out my ears. I look at Douglas Florian and see incredible talent and it makes me sick. First, he writes fun poetry that students will love to read aloud. Look at this:

Lovely legs,
Lovely hue,
Lovely long
Antennae too.

That's just great phrasing. Try saying it and not enjoy your tongue rolling and hearing these words. I knew you couldn't. Second, Florian's a great visual artist. His artwork is flat out cool. On the first page, you see bees spelling out the title of the first poem, Welcome against a backdrop of hexagons. In another illustration, the queen bee is wearing a crown and holding a scepter with a hive on the end. How hip is that? I can draw stick figures for my second grade students. I'm oozing with artistic talent. The piece de resistance (I did pay a little attention in high school French class) is that Douglas Florian thought to add paragraphs of informational text in addition to the poetry and artwork. With Queen Bee, he teaches readers about royal jelly, and how queen bees lay 2,000 eggs. This is a complete package of nonfiction writing.

Seriously, Florian is a terrific children's book author and illustrator. I've reviewed three of his books and I like each one of them immensely. I wish I could have had books like these when I was a kid. There I go again. I really need to work on this jealousy issue of mine.











16 comments:

  1. Hi Jeff, I laughed aloud about your "jealousy issues" about Douglas Florian. It does sound (literally and figuratively) like a fun book. So... now I'm waiting to read one of your books! I know it would be wonderful, too.

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne! This is a fun book.

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  2. Hi there, Jeff, I couldn't help but smile as well, like Jeanne, as I was reading your review. I had the same exact feeling while I was reading through Paul Janeczko's poetry books (which I am reviewing as well for Nonfiction Monday today) - such wondrous talent, really! :)

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    1. Thanks, Myra! It's cool that we both have poetry books today. Nonfiction has really evolved.

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  3. I love Doug Florian's books, too. Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars, is a great one, as are the season series, Summersaults, Autumblings and the rest.

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    1. I'll have to check on those books, Lisa. Thank you for stopping by.

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  4. Looks like a lovely book Myra. Sounds like it would make a good pairing with Alison Formento's These Bees Count. Will check this one out--thanks again!

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    1. Good idea, Natalie! I could put those two together. Thank you for your comment.

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    2. You're welcome, Jeff! So sorry I called you "Myra"...I'd been reading through the earlier comments, saw Myra's, and her name popped into my reply! :-P

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  5. I love the creative way you decided to 'review' this book. I've seen it, but haven't read it all. Thanks for re-telling, & good luck with your own 'bee'lievable publishing.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Linda!

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  6. Thanks so much, Jeff. I'm glad you read my poems ALOUD. I do that dozens of times while revising, so the words rock and roll off the tongue and into the heart! Good luck with your own authorings and
    stop by the Florian Cafe http://floriancafe.blogspot.com/
    Douglas

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    1. I appreciate you stopping by, Douglas. Your comment made me think about the difference between aloud and out loud. I switched to aloud after reading a few posts.

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  7. Welcome to the meme; It's a great group of readers! Not being one who gravitates to poetry, this book sounds like great fun. I'll have to check it out! Have a great reading week!

    Lorna

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  8. That does look like so much fun to say! I want to see more great bee poems.

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  9. I am not a bug person nor a bee person...but I want to read this! It looks fun. I love poetry and have been trying to read more so I will definitely be looking for this!

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