Yester-warm-sunny-day, with my thoughts already skipping toward bees and spring, I got word that THE HONEYBEE MAN was a finalist for Bank Street College of Education's first annual Cook Prize. I'm so thrilled and honored, I thought I'd take the opportunity to launch a week of posts about children's books, science, and bees. I hope you'll join me here in the days to come!
I'll start with a look at the prize and the three other excellent finalists (winner to be announced on May 17). The Cook Prize is meant to honor picture books about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the eight-to-10-year-old reader range. Apparently, it's the only national children's choice award to honor a STEM book, which makes it doubly (triply?) exciting that three of the four finalists have local (New York) settings.
Of course, THE HONEYBEE MAN is set on a Brooklyn rooftop. BALLOONS OVER BROADWAY (Melissa Sweet, Houghton Mifflin 2011) traces the history of the floating puppets we all know and love in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. MEADOWLANDS: A WETLANDS SURVIVAL STORY (Thomas F. Yezerski, FSG 2011) is a love story, of sorts, to the polluted New Jersey marshland's fragile ecosystem. The fourth book, ABOUT HUMMINGBIRDS (Cathryn Sill, Peachtree 2011), explores the life and times of the tiny birds, in all their various habitats. (I've never seen one in Brooklyn, but I'm always on the lookout - we've got bees, after all. Why not hummingbirds?)