Charles Darwin was an amazing naturalist, adventurer and explorer but what was he like as a father? Turns out he and his wife had ten children seven of whom survived, and they encouraged them all to ask questions and to experiment with everything around them especially in their natural world. This is a peek into the world of that family as imagined by the inimitable Deborah Hopkinson. So meet Henrietta who is watching Father come down his Thinking Path and is yearning to be with him. He is deep in thought about humblebees. Henrietta's mother turns her loose from the kitchen and off she goes to part of the Great Bee Experiment. She will dust herself and her bee with flour and then will watch and count carefully to see how many flowers this one bee will pollinate in one minute. Every child in the family has a part to play in this curious, delightful celebration of the natural world around them. Horace, age six, will keep the family dog busy and Etty will count. The experiment will only last one minute but your sense of wonder will stay with you for a long time. A wonderful book to be shared especially in these days when our children are losing their important connection with the natural world and their own natural curiosity. The soft illustrations have an ethereal feel to them which gives them the power to transport you back in time and out into nature in the same moment. Gorgeous. A great read aloud. 32 pages
The Humblebee Hunter
Disney Hyperion, Feb 2010
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