While my youngest daughter turned 7 and has a fairly advanced reading level, we still enjoy reading childrens' books together. It is especially rewarding when the book offers a bit of a lesson as well. We were excited to read, review and share Bee Helpful, a book from J.W. Edwards III's, Sunny Bee book series. What did we think of Bee Helpful?
Quick summary of Bee Helpful. For Sunny Bee, being truly helpful means going anywhere and everywhere. When his beautiful sunflower friend Myah becomes very ill, Sunny travels to the “far side of the hills” seeking help. Faced with a series of challenges including a raging storm, large spiders, or even the intimidating Grandfather Oak, Sunny’s dedication never wavers! (ages 4 - 8)
Children learn several life lessons with Sunny in Bee Helpful. As a parent, I love sharing books with morals and positive lessons with my children. Edwards does an amazing job incorporating a host of real-world challenges and life lessons into the adventures Sunny Bee faces as he tries to save his sunflower friend, Myah. While the story seems simple enough: a brave little bee faces obstacles to save a flower--there are reminders about life and death, and lessons to be learned about determination, perseverance, hope, friendship, and character.
Bee Helpful is very well written and beautifully illustrated. The artwork throughout the book keeps children drawn into both the beauty and the dangers of Sunny's world. The author's sentences were simple enough for young readers to read--but complex enough to hold much more for families to discuss after the reading. My girls loved both the written story and the illustrations--feeling that they complemented each other so very well.
Would I recommend Bee Helpful by J.W. Edwards III? This is book three of Edwards' Sunny Bee Book Series for children--so, I am pretty excited to see the other books in the series as well. The girls and I agreed that it was a wonderful children's book; teaching life lessons without preaching life lessons. I would recommend it as a family story time book as I really think the book offers so many opportunities for families to discuss real world challenges with children.
Buy Bee Helpful (Hardcover)
Buy the Bee Helpful: Coloring Book
About the author:J.W. Edwards III was born in St. Louis, Missouri and spent the majority of his childhood there. Eventually he left St. Louis for engineering school and job opportunities. He has traveled across most the U.S. in search of a place to call home. He currently resides in northern California with his wife and three boys and works full-time as a software engineer while writing stories for his youngest son in his spare time. J.W. Edwards is busy these days working on a variety of writing projects which includes the Sunny Bee Book Series. Book number three, Bee Helpful, was the first one to be published. Books 1, 2, and 4 will follow soon in 2014.
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