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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Shani has a new friend. It’s a honeybee. She calls him Paul. Later, she learns that this honeybee is a she and not a he, so she changes the name to Paula. Shani loves to watch her honeybee fly around the flowers outside her window. She has many questions about what the honeybee is doing and where it goes at night while Shani is asleep. At school, she learns about honeybees and she’s amazed at how busy and active honeybees are and how well they work together.
Shani Night’s picture book story, Paul The Busy Bee, is a delightful children’s story that teaches them about honeybees. The story is told in the first person, from Shani’s point of view. Shani marvels at all the honeybee does as she watches it. Then she asks questions, some of which are answered at school. The colorful illustrations help carry this charming little story along. As Shani introduces her honeybee friend, the honeybee friend says, “I’m a busy, busy bee. ... with a Buzz! Buzz! here and a buzz! Buzz! there.” The repeated words will help young readers start to recognize them and it adds a little sound to the story (onomatopoeia words). This repetitive phrase is repeated later when another honeybee is introduced. The story wraps up with Shani wondering what it would be like to be a honeybee. She insists that she would continue to enjoy having tea with Grandma and she would definitely enjoy lots of honey buns. A clever little story packed with lots of interesting trivia for young readers. It will certainly appeal to the very young reader.