by Bianca C. Ross (Farinet Pty Ltd, $18.95)
Bianca C. Ross’s second installment of the Herbert Peabody series returns children’s imaginations to the quaint town of Huffleton.
Moreover, the book’s launch has been scheduled to coincide with spring as an ideal time for kids to be getting outside. It is also the perfect time for our kids to learn about the relationship between bees and flowers, and the integral role these have in our food web, which is exactly what this title is designed to achieve.
In Herbert Peabody and his Extraordinary Vegetable Patch, we were introduced to Herbert and learned about the importance of vegetables on Mulberry Farm. Now we return to discover our protagonist has a new neighbour, Bee, who is having trouble finding pollen.
Details aside, the story rapidly develops in such a way to keep kids entertained right to the very end. The narrative is supported by a number of rhymes and songs that are paired with the charming illustrations of Tabitha Emma Bray, all of which should help hold the attention of even the most fidgety child.
It’s important to note that this is a relatively word-heavy book, as opposed to a picture book, and is therefore suitable for children aged between four and nine years old. Those in the upper age bracket will find the book easy enough to read on their own due to the language and level of comprehension required. They should also feel a sense of achievement in completing the book, as it physically presents as a slightly more longer, serious book.
At the other end of the scale, younger kids may require the assistance of their parents or a teacher to help them in reading the book, thereby making it a perfect tale to tell in parts in the classroom or before bed.
Its focus on nature learning isn’t the only thing that gives the Herbert Peabody series appeal for a new generation of parents, as the appeal is further bolstered by the additional learning value provided via the Herbert Peabody website. Here, kids and their parents will find useful gardening advice, colouring pages and more as a means of extending the book’s value right into the garden.