The Bee Tree

written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco

Mary Ellen and Grampa chase pollen-laden bees to their far-off hive, picking up curious neighbors and passers-by along the way.

Mary Ellen is tired of reading indoors; her grandfather decides it "is just the right time to find a bee tree". They capture a few bees gathering pollen and let one go to follow it back to the hive. A rowdy group of neighbors and animals join the run and, once the honey is found, share in the biscuits and honey and celebration of the exciting day.

Boisterous color brings to life the characters' old-fashioned garb and the lovely rural Michigan 19th-century setting. Fine pencil details highlight the joy and determination on the faces of the honey hunters. Generous use of white space on the pages helps focus on the movement through this rambunctious adventure.

At the end of the story the grandfather dribbles a little bit of honey on his grand-daughter’s book cover and tell Mary Ellen to compare its sweetness to that which is found inside. “Just like we ran after the bees to find their tree, so you must also chase these things: adventure, knowledge, and wisdom through the pages of a book! “