Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

The Bees of Notre Dame by Meghan P. Browne; Illustrated by E. B. Goodale

The Bees of Notre Dame
By Meghan P. Browne; Illustrated by E. B. Goodale

Random House Studio. 


In this delightful, informational pictures book with bright and captivating illustrations, readers are transported to the city of Paris. There we experience the romantic city and the life of the honeybee, as they go about their business gathering pollen from the flowers and trees in the city, laying eggs and making honey.

Until one day, everything changes.  

Readers will be fascinated to know that atop the great Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, beekeepers, like Sibyle Moulin, tends honeybee hives. When, in 2019, an electrical fire started on the roof of the cathedral, the citizens of Paris were begging to know if the bee colonies survived. For days, the world waited for news. Then, “On Good Friday, a drone flew above the charred church and captured images showing the hive boxes upright and untouched by the flames. Disaster and despair turned to relief and hope.”  

Goodale’s illustrations, rendered in monoprint, oil paint, gouache, collage, and colored pencils are colorful and pair perfectly with Browne’s enchanting text. 

Included is an author’s note and recommended reading. 

For bee lovers of all ages, The Bees of Notre Dame is a perfect story to read a story time or to students of all grades. It is a tale of hope.

P.S. I love the map of Notre Dame de Paris on the endpapers. 

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