Monday, February 22, 2010

Behind the Scenes in a Beehive

This is a wonderful graphic novel that buzzes about the life of a honeybee. We read through it almost to the end today and are saving the summary/scientific definition section at the end of the book for tomorrow. What better way to detail the life of bees than by having the bees share their story in a comic book format? Well, comedy certainly does factor in, but much of the text is ecologically serious and scientifically accurate, thanks to author, Jay Hosler, a biologist who has spent his career studying bees. He also happens to be a cartoonist with a zany sense of humor (what could "bee' better?)

You'll become attached to the main little bee, Nyuki (which means 'bee' in Swahili), and her silly, somewhat annoying behavior; you'll discover that just below the surface of Nyuki's life story is a message, one that applies to ALL life. Nyuki learns that life is not to be feared, but to be lived! Nyuki's development from hapless hungry larva to busy forager has much meaning and you will see this as you travel through the story. It's a pleasurable experience, this book! One we won't soon forget. And now we know so much more about the community of honey bees and how important they are to one another and to keeping life on Earth properly balanced.

If you wish to examine the structured science offered in Dr. Hosler's book, please visit his website and click on each chapter heading. You'll find a detailed list of concepts covered.

I did cover two of Dr. Hosler's other books in a previous post, a post about graphic novels (post here), and recently discovered yet another of his books which looks to be just as intriguing - it's about the biology and evolution of eyeballs! I like the way this guy expresses himself! Here's a picture and description of this unusual book:

"Optical Allusions is the cure for all those clamoring for a painstakingly researched, scientifically accurate, eye-themed comic book adventure. WRINKLES THE WONDER BRAIN has lost his boss's eye and now he has to search all of human imagination for it. Along the way, he confronts biology head on and accidentally learns more about eyes and the evolution of vision than he thought possible. And, as if a compelling story with disembodied talking brains, shape-changing proteins and giant robot eyes wasn't enough, each tale is followed by a fully illustrated, in-depth exploration of the ideas introduced in the comic story. Following in the tradition of the author's first two books, Clan Apis and The Sandwalk Adventures, Optical Allusions uses humor and adventure to weave an unforgettable story about the wonders of seeing." Quote taken from product description on Amazon.

Definitely invite Dr. Hosler's humor into your home learning environment!

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