Where Does Honey Come From?

An engaging and educational book for 2- to 7-year-olds about the honey making process. Available on Kindle: http://amzn.to/2eIK3yx (affiliate link)

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When I was a child, I used to collect magnets. Whenever we went on holiday, I was always on the look out for tourist shops selling the particular style of souvenir magnet that I collected. To be honest a real waste of money. I used to really enjoy getting back into my Dad’s van and positioning the magnets on the metal panelling next to my seat.

However, I’m hoping to have a different travel collection for my kids.  There are some excellent NZ kid’s books that can remind us of somewhere we’ve been or something we’ve done. Several years ago when Action Man was three months old and The Young Engineer was nearly 3, we travelled to the lower North Island for a summer holiday.

Where Does Honey Come From
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Summary

A book full of Kiwi bee facts. Presented in a way that brings the production of honey alive for kids aged 2-7.

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The Young Engineer was fascinated by bees at that point, in the way that small children are. He wanted to know everything about them. And he was amazed by every new idea. So the perfect holiday stop was the Arataki Honey Visitor’s Centre in Havelock North. This spot had windows to allow visitors to watch bees in action. It was full of games, activities, honey tasting and so much well presented information (in fact let me just give an “Awesome” Review to that stop, well worth a visit if you’re in the area). The Young Engineer’s highlight was dressing up like a beekeeper:

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Excuse the fuzzy holiday snap

So the perfect souvenir for this holiday adventure, was “Where Does Honey Come From?” This non-fiction kiwi book is one of a five-part series. The first was “Where Does Milk Come From?” The concept came from a man who asked his grandson if he knew where milk came from, and looking at his grandfather as if he was stupid, he gave the reply. “From the supermarket, of course.” His grandfather, the award-winning photographer Rob Tucker, came up with the concept for this series.

The book speaks to young children very clearly, with photos of all parts of the honey making process. But not in a static boring way. The photos of bees and beehives are interspersed with photos of a young girl dressed as a bee, with her magic wand.  I like that the content doesn’t talk down to small children, but instead stretches them up with some very interesting facts, for example:

Even though the bee’s brain is only about the size of a sesame seed it can learn and remember very difficult things and is very good at maths.

It was just so perfect for all the questions a certain 3-year-old had. I enjoyed that it is a New Zealand book, as it shows some factory scenes. And my experience (thanks to The Young Engineer) in watching “How It’s Made”, is that large American factories produce things in very different ways to our smaller Kiwi factories.

It also includes a number of NZ facts and figures (e.g. more than 194 million bees are producing honey in NZ). I am a little hesitant about numbers generally in books, as I can’t tell you whether these numbers are still accurate or not. But in this book it feels like the numbers are there to illustrate a point to the young audience. There are a lot of bees in NZ. I’m ok with using a number that was loosely accurate at a certain time to make a point clearly. But if you care more about numbers and accuracy than me, then this may be a negative for you.

We purchased this book from Arataki Honey Visitor’s Centre. It’s available from a variety of bookstores as well as the publisher’s website, and as an e-book from both the publisher and Amazon. A great option for imparting some understanding of our food supply chain.

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