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Omar, The Bees And Me

Book Synopsis

An uplifting story on sustainability, in response to many ‘heavy’ green titles coming to the market that children often find intimidating. Omar, The Bees and Me encourages children to look after nature in local communities planting wild flowers to form bee corridors. Themes around cultural identity are also explored through Omar (a new boy from Syria) and Maisie’s friendship. Offers an insight into international beekeeping and illustrated by award-winning picture-book maker Katie Cottle, creator of The Green Giant and The Blue Giant. Includes bee facts on endpapers and a recipe for honey cake on end page.

Our Review Panel says...

A spring-infused delight of a story, where two children rally the whole community in creating a bee corridor to help encourage local wildlife, while celebrating their cultural diversity and customs.

As with any good picture book, there are so many layers to this book. The main theme throughout is that of sustainability. The children of Class One encourage the members of their community to plant wild flowers in order to boost the numbers of bees in the area. They help deliver envelopes of seeds to all the houses between the school and park. This book helps children understand how vital bees are in order to pollinate and provide food. It will inspire children to think about how they can create bee corridors in their local community too. Katie Cottle’s illustrations bring another layer of vibrancy to the story. They radiate warmth and joy.

There are also other aspects of story that can be explored, such as developing friendship, cultural identity and LGBTQ+ representation. When Omar brings honey cake to Show and Tell and explains that his grandpa used to keep bees ‘a long way away’ among the ‘apricot trees and jasmine bushes’, it sparks the idea of creating a bee corridor – but, more than that, it brings an opportunity for Maisie and Omar to connect and build a friendship. It also gives Omar – the new child in the class – a chance to show his Syrian heritage as well as an opportunity for their teacher Mr Ellory-Jones and his husband to help to deliver the envelopes of seeds with the class in a true community project.

The end pages are gorgeous and filled with essential bee facts and a recipe for a delicious honey cake. This book is perfect for all children to explore and a great starting point for so much learning.

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Omar, The Bees And Me: Teacher Notes

A resource pack provided by the publisher to accompany the book Omar, The Bees And Me.

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