100 books like The Honeybee

By Kirsten Hall, Isabelle Arsenault (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that The Honeybee fans have personally recommended if you like The Honeybee. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of They All Saw a Cat

Isabella Kung Author Of No Fuzzball!

From my list on children's stories with extraordinary animals.

Who am I?

While I am a self-acclaimed cat expert, I have been an animal lover since I could remember. In fact, my favorite childhood memories are of me running barefooted through grass, catching bugs, and chasing birds. I wasn't allowed big pets growing up, but I'm pleased to say I now have two furbabies that fill my heart with love and inspiration! I am still fascinated by nature and the animal kingdom, often indulging in books, podcasts, and especially David Attenborough’s natural documentaries. I think they are all extraordinary and this passion influences my work too, as evident in my body of work. I really enjoy observing and painting animals, as well as illustrating animal characters.

Isabella's book list on children's stories with extraordinary animals

Isabella Kung Why did Isabella love this book?

This book is brilliantly and creatively illustrated, featuring a black cat (which I have a soft spot for) from the point of view of a boy, a dog, a mouse, a bee, a bird, a snake, and more! This seemly simple concept not only scientifically showcases the difference in each animal's capabilities of vision and sense perception, but it also demonstrates that things can be perceived very differently depending on the perspective of the viewer. It’s has a really lovely and subtle message for young children while introducing them to the extraordinary word of zoology in a fun and creative way. A great book for children and adults alike.

By Brendan Wenzel,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked They All Saw a Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel - New York Times bestseller and 2017 Caldecott Medal and Honor Book

"An ingenious idea, gorgeously realized." -Shelf Awareness, starred review
"Both simple and ingenious in concept, Wenzel's book feels like a game changer." -The Huffington Post

The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . . In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?

If you and your child…


Book cover of Pokko and the Drum

Lisa Tolin Author Of How to Be a Rock Star

From my list on children’s books for future rock stars.

Who am I?

I am not a rock star but I do play a mean (computer) keyboard. My debut picture book, How to Be a Rock Star, was inspired by my musical children and our endless hours jamming as a family band. I was always on the lookout for books to inspire my little rock star, and because they were hard to come by, I wrote one! These books will inspire your budding musician, or just help you embrace a spirit of creative play in any way they want to rock.

Lisa's book list on children’s books for future rock stars

Lisa Tolin Why did Lisa love this book?

Pokko’s parents give her a drum and soon regret it, as you might imagine. (In my own book, Mom says, “don’t even think about a drum kit.”) But sending Pokko outside begins a beautiful symphonic journey that turns Pokko into a leader who makes sure her bandmates don’t eat each other. In the end, even her parents are swept away (literally) by the beautiful music.

By Matthew Forsythe,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pokko and the Drum as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019
A Today Show Best Book of the Year
A Booklist Book for Youth Editors' Choice 2019
A Boston Globe-Horn Picture Book Honor Book 2020
An NPR Favorite Book of 2019
A Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book
A Quill & Quire 2019 Book for Young People of the Year
"Extraordinary." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Inspirational." -Booklist (starred review)
"Laugh-out-loud funny." -Shelf Awareness (starred review)
"Will tickle kids and adults alike." -Kirkus Reviews
"An instant classic." -Quill & Quire (starred review)

From E.B. White Read Aloud honor artist Matthew Forsythe comes a picture book about a…


Book cover of The Three Pigs

Barbara Lehman Author Of Little Red and the Cat Who Loved Cake

From my list on upcycled tales for children all told with a twist.

Who am I?

I love the experience of reading a book that combines a known (to me or not!) story combined with elements that make it new again. It could be a parody, a “fractured fairy tale,” or a new retelling, funny or serious. For my book Little Red and the Cat Who Loved Cake, I read so many nursery rhymes and fairy tales in order to populate the town with fun versions of recognizable characters for Little Red to encounter, it makes me appreciate these books even more.

Barbara's book list on upcycled tales for children all told with a twist

Barbara Lehman Why did Barbara love this book?

This is a very meta version of The Three Pigs, which goes on to additionally be a meta version of a book experience. First, we see the wolf blow a pig right out of the story panel border, and then everything really implodes conceptually from there. The pigs then regroup in a non-book void, despite still being in the book we are holding, and from there devise a plan to return to their original story with a wolf-proof reinforcement they got from a different story. Sounds wild? It is.

By David Wiesner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Three Pigs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Satisfying both as a story and as an exploration of story, The Three Pigs takes visual narrative to a new level. When the wolf comes a-knocking and a-puffing, he blows the pigs right out of the tale and into a whole new imaginative landscape, where they begin a freewheeling adventure as they wander-and fly-through other stories, encountering a dragon and a cat with a fiddle, among others. This familiar tale will never be the same old story again.


Book cover of This Way, Charlie

Isabella Kung Author Of No Fuzzball!

From my list on children's stories with extraordinary animals.

Who am I?

While I am a self-acclaimed cat expert, I have been an animal lover since I could remember. In fact, my favorite childhood memories are of me running barefooted through grass, catching bugs, and chasing birds. I wasn't allowed big pets growing up, but I'm pleased to say I now have two furbabies that fill my heart with love and inspiration! I am still fascinated by nature and the animal kingdom, often indulging in books, podcasts, and especially David Attenborough’s natural documentaries. I think they are all extraordinary and this passion influences my work too, as evident in my body of work. I really enjoy observing and painting animals, as well as illustrating animal characters.

Isabella's book list on children's stories with extraordinary animals

Isabella Kung Why did Isabella love this book?

This Way, Charlie is a beautiful book based on the true story of an unlikely friendship between a partially blind horse and a very grumpy and stubborn goat at a wildlife rehabilitation farm. The gentle text tells their story and shows how a little help from a friend can help overcome all kinds of obstacles, physical or mental. The illustrations are beautifully designed and executed in a soft impressionistic way that is almost dreamlike. Resulting in a heartwarming book that celebrates the kindness, compassion, trust, and strength of a friendship.

By Carson Levis, Charles Santoso (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Way, Charlie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

From the award-winning team behind Ida, Always comes a story about a friendship that grows between a blind horse and a gruff goat

All the animals at the Open Bud Ranch can see that Jack likes keeping his space to himself. But when Charlie arrives, he doesn t see Jack at all. He s still getting used to seeing out of only one of his eyes.
The two get off to a bumpy start. At first, Jack is anxious and distrustful. But one day, he summons his courage and guides Charlie to his favorite sunlit field: this way, Charlie. And…


Book cover of Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

Brenda Z. Guiberson Author Of Into the Sea

From my list on that spark a lifetime of investigation.

Who am I?

I'm an award-winning, best-selling children’s author who writes about unexpected “wow” moments that stick with me. I look for books and articIes that take me on a deep journey into unknown environments. I aim for nonfiction that reads like a story with an emotional connection to new creatures with fascinating lifestyles. As a writer of dozens of books for children, I always learn much more that can go into each effort. Each book comes into a hazy focus after tons of research. The best “wow” details get woven into an incredible story full of surprise, joy, and admiration for those struggling to survive on our changing plant.  

Brenda's book list on that spark a lifetime of investigation

Brenda Z. Guiberson Why did Brenda love this book?

This book became a “wow” moment for me as it celebrates the life of a honey bee. “Can I fly now?” the bee wants to know. With poetic language and exquisite close-up illustrations, the reader has to wait, just like the bee, who has only 35 days to get through many chores before she can fly off for the final flower and honey mission. Who could ever swat a busy bee after reading this amazing life story? Extra information is provided about the special skills and plight of our important pollinators.  

By Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Honeybee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Robert F. Sibert Medal Winner
 
Take to the sky with Apis, one honeybee, as she embarks on her journey through life!

An Orbis Pictus Honor Book
Selected for the Texas Bluebonnnet Master List
Finalist for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books

A tiny honeybee emerges through the wax cap of her cell. Driven to protect and take care of her hive, she cleans the nursery and feeds the larvae and the queen. But is she strong enough to fly? Not yet!

Apis builds wax comb to store honey, and transfers pollen from other bees into the storage.…


Book cover of Honeybee Democracy

Susanne Foitzik Author Of Empire of Ants: The Hidden Worlds and Extraordinary Lives of Earth's Tiny Conquerors

From my list on the evolution of insect and human societies.

Who am I?

I am a scientist studying the evolution of insect communities for years. I am fascinated by their high degree of cooperation and how these animals make collective decisions. But I also observe social parasitic ants that raid other colonies and make their workers work for them. This tension between altruistic cooperation on the one hand and violence and war, on the other hand, is common to human and insect societies, even if they evolved in completely different ways. I hope that when you read the books I recommend here, you will be as fascinated as I am by these parallel universes and perhaps next time you will see an ant with different eyes. 

Susanne's book list on the evolution of insect and human societies

Susanne Foitzik Why did Susanne love this book?

Social insects live in close communities, often of several thousand individuals. We often imagine the animals as small robots that perform their tasks as if automated. But this is far from the case. Honeybees are models for the study of learning and can also make complex decisions based on previous experience. However, it becomes particularly difficult when all the animals of a hive have to agree. And bees of a swarm have this difficult task ahead of them when they are looking for real estate. They inspect the nesting opportunities in the surroundings and advertise them in the swarm.

But how do these social insects make their collective decisions? About this question goes the book, written by an expert in the field, in an exciting and easy-to-understand manner. It turns out that the animals actually listen to many opinions and vote. Who wants to know more about honeybee democracy, read…

By Thomas D. Seeley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Honeybee Democracy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Honeybees make decisions collectively - and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building. In fact, as world-renowned animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals, these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making. A remarkable and richly illustrated account of scientific discovery, "Honeybee Democracy" brings together, for the first time, decades of Seeley's pioneering research to tell the amazing story of house hunting and democratic debate among the honeybees.…


Book cover of The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild

Luke Dixon Author Of BEES and HONEY myth, folklore and traditions

From my list on bees and beekeeping.

Who am I?

I have been enthralled with the natural world since childhood, but it was not until I had enjoyed a career as a theatre director, that my life changed course and I became a professional beekeeper. My new job took be across the rooftops of London, managing bees and hives for The Bank of England, Kensington Palace, The London College of Fashion, Heathrow Airport, Bloomberg, and many others. Now I run a small environmental charity, The Bee Friendly Trust, helping to make the world a little more hospitable to honeybees and some of the many other pollinators that make human life possible.

Luke's book list on bees and beekeeping

Luke Dixon Why did Luke love this book?

Tom Seeley is a genius. He is a professor at Cornell University in America, but this engaging book is no dull academic thesis.

He tells ‘the untold story of the honey bee in the wild’ with an enthusiasm that carries the reader along as if on an adventure of discovery. I was fascinated as, through the book, I joined him on his field research and learnt wonders with him. A joy for the novice and the experienced bee person.

By Thomas D. Seeley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lives of Bees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How the lives of wild honey bees offer vital lessons for saving the world's managed bee colonies

Humans have kept honey bees in hives for millennia, yet only in recent decades have biologists begun to investigate how these industrious insects live in the wild. The Lives of Bees is Thomas Seeley's captivating story of what scientists are learning about the behavior, social life, and survival strategies of honey bees living outside the beekeeper's hive-and how wild honey bees may hold the key to reversing the alarming die-off of the planet's managed honey bee populations.

Seeley, a world authority on honey…


Book cover of Bees: Their Vision, Chemical Senses, and Language

Bernd Heinrich Author Of Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival

From my list on nature and the study of life.

Who am I?

Biology is the study of life, and I cannot think of anything more important. It’s like being interested in what’s happening to the ball when you are playing the ball game. I was very fortunate to have grown up in close contact with nature and it led me down this path. I love discovering intricate mechanisms not by thoughts but with data. Those discoveries almost always turn out to be surprising and more than what had, or could be, imagined and assumed. 

Bernd's book list on nature and the study of life

Bernd Heinrich Why did Bernd love this book?

I received this book from my father as a Christmas present at age 16, in 1956. The author is a Professor of Zoology who made one of the most stunning discoveries of biology of the last century: honeybees communicate direction and distance of a food source they had found to their hive-mates, within the darkness of their hive.

The code involves the movements of their bodies in a "dance," that gives directions with respect to the position of the sun, but at the same time that position shifts with time, the bees without seeing it take into account its movement in the sky, to within about 15 minutes. His experimental proofs deciphering the bees' "dances" are simple and direct, as was his writing of them. The book was and still is an inspiration,  a revelation of nature's beauty that no one had seen before.

By Karl Von Frisch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Over half a century of brilliant scientific detective work, the Nobel Prize-winning biologist Karl von Frisch learned how the world, looks, smells, and tastes to a bee. More significantly, he discovered their dance language and their ability to use the sun as a compass. Intended to serve as an accessible introduction to one of the most fascinating areas of biology, Bees (first published in 1950 and revised in 1971), reported the startling results of his ingenious and revolutionary experiments with honeybees.

In his revisions, von Frisch updated his discussion about the phylogenetic origin of the language of bees and also…


Book cover of The Queen Must Die: And Other Affairs of Bees and Men

Thor Hanson Author Of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

From my list on the world of bees.

Who am I?

Author and biologist Thor Hanson’s research activities have taken him around the globe. He has studied Central American trees and songbirds, nest predation in Tanzania, and the grisly feeding habits of African vultures, but bees rank among his favorite subjects of all. He wrote Buzz to explore their fascinating natural and cultural history. No other group of insects has grown so close to us, none is more essential, and none is more revered.

Thor's book list on the world of bees

Thor Hanson Why did Thor love this book?

There are scores of beekeeping memoirs in print, many of them very engaging. But if I had to choose only one, there is something to be said for this little classic. The biological information is good, but the book rises above the average in the way Longwood conveys it - with charm, wit, and an obvious fondness for his chosen subjects. Paired with a modern how-to manual, this volume could convince just about anyone to try their hand with hive, suit, and smoker.

By William Longgood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Queen Must Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"An engaging collection of observations about honeybees and their activities."-Publishers Weekly


Book cover of The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden

Michelle Balz Author Of No-Waste Composting: Small-Space Waste Recycling, Indoors and Out. Plus, 10 Projects to Repurpose Household Items Into Compost-Making Machines

From my list on for aspiring urban homesteaders.

Who am I?

For me, backyard composting is more than just a way to lessen how much waste I send to the landfill. When you compost you transform items that many people consider garbage into a valuable soil amendment for your garden. You are creating something with real value that can help plants thrive and act as a carbon sink to help reduce negative impacts of climate change. Composting is so easy and rewarding that I really want to see everyone give it a try.

Michelle's book list on for aspiring urban homesteaders

Michelle Balz Why did Michelle love this book?

This book was exactly what I needed to better understand what is involved in starting a beehive in an urban setting. Flottum starts his readers with the bare-bones basics and builds from there. He also goes into what he calls “Extreme Urban Beekeeping” with tips on considerations for those of us with close neighbors. I have not started beekeeping yet, but Flottum has inspired me to add it to my list of future endeavors. 

By Kim Flottum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Backyard Beekeeper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Backyard Beekeeper, now in its 4th edition, makes the time-honored and complex tradition of beekeeping an enjoyable and accessible backyard pastime for urban and rural beekeepers of all skill levels.

More than a guide to beekeeping, this handbook features expert advice for:

Setting up and caring for your own colonies Selecting the best location to place your new bee colonies for their safety and yours The most practical and nontoxic ways to care for your bees Swarm control Using top bar hives Harvesting the products of a beehive and collecting and using honey Bee problems and treatments


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5 book lists we think you will like!

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