When Mary Ellen gets bored with her reading, Grandpa knows a hunt for a bee tree is just what she needs. Half the town joins the exciting chase, but it's not until everyone returns home that Mary Ellen makes a discovery of her own: Sometimes, even the sweetest of things must be worked for. Polacco has created another charming picture book featuring a child learning from a grandparent in an idyllic pastoral setting.Both the writing and artwork are fresh and inviting. - School Library Journal, starred review The newest gem from Polacco's treasure chest of family stories extols the virtue of reading-and of taking a study break..Like Mary Ellen, readers will emerge refreshed from this respite, ready to seek out new adventures. - Publishers Weekly Young readers will savor this.. - The Horn Book Patricia Polacco lives in Union City, MI.
The newest gem from Polacco's treasure chest of family stories extolls the virtues of reading--and of taking a study break. Young Mary Ellen would rather be ``outdoors running and playing'' than indoors with a book. Sympathetic to her feelings, her grandfather suggests that they find a bee tree. The Michigan woods literally buzz with activity as Mary Ellen and Grampa chase a pollen-laden bee to its far-off hive, picking up curious neighbors and passers-by along the way. Before long the original pair becomes a ``thundering stampede of goats, buggies, people and bikes'' in search of honey. Polacco's rollicking text provides a bubbly, adventurous tone for her cumulative romp. Boisterous color brings to life the characters' old-fashioned garb and the unspoiled lushness of the rural 19th-century setting. Fine pencil detail highlights stray pieces of hair blown back by the breeze, and the joy and determination on the faces of the honey hunters. Like Mary Ellen, readers will emerge refreshed from this respite, ready to seek out new adventures. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)