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  • Writer's pictureClover

Bee-Loved Books

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Here are some feel-good books you’ll “heart” in a month that finds Clover totally in the pink. Her “Bee-Loved Books” have themes of love and goodwill. Goodness knows, we need uplifting reads that offer hope and brightness, February’s vivid colors waving a flag of optimism over a winter-gray landscape. Check out Clover’s cache, a treasure trove selected to entertain and enlighten. Page On!


The Community Literacy Foundation, in partnership with Neighborhood Reads and with support from its sponsors, provides these books to 40 school and public libraries in Washington, Union, Pacific, St. Clair and surrounding communities. Learn more at CommunityLiteracyFoundation.org.


Youngest Read


What’s the sweetest thing you can imagine? Something as simple as being understood by a friend or cuddling a warm puppy on your lap? Author June Tate poses the question in “What’s Sweeter” presenting scenarios that awaken an “ahh” in our senses and psyches.


Using Crayola-like illustrations, depicting children experiencing meaningful moments, Tate invites us to feel the comfort that arises from stroking “…the soft spot behind a cat’s ear,” and the delight “…when a ladybug lands on your arm.”


Our vision enables us to appreciate sweet scenes that delight, “…seeing a bluebird right outside your window,” or marveling at “…how little ducks walk in a row.”


Digging deeper we’re invited to recall the satisfaction that comes “…when you do something you really like and you forget about everything else.” The illustration accompanying this text shows a child at an easel, diligently painting, a watercolor blob of paint magically transforming into butterflies in flight.


The feel good, sweet examples continue, concluding with a glowing spread featuring a striated sunset, children from the book looking on in wonder as they perch in a blossom-strewn tree.


Middle Read


The girl in “How to Send a Hug,” by Hayley Rocco, comes up with an idea others might want to try. Though the child is super at giving hugs of all kinds, “… tall hugs … short hugs … and Sorry, I hope you feel better hugs,” she’s in a conundrum because she can’t give her grandma Gertie a squeeze because she “lives very far away,” her “…hugs (smelling) like roses.”


Though the two communicate on the phone and online, it’s just “… not the same.” Putting on her thinking cap, and unleashing her creativity, the girl puts pen and markers to paper, creating a hug in words and pictures. Then she relies on the “Hug Delivery Specialist,” her mailwoman, to speed it on its way.


Steps to get this hug to Grandma Gertie are included in the story—postal workers gathering and sorting—quite a job. Then the girl has nothing else to do but wait, and isn’t that the hardest thing ever?


As the girl does, she imagines “… all the hugs, and the journey they go on,” a plane, train and boat showing hugs enroute to loved ones. When they do arrive, the anticipation is well worth it because hugs are often reciprocated. Just check your mailbox and see.


Large, colorful illustrations by award-winning artist John Rocco detail the hug-sending process and introduce us to a freckle-faced girl on a love-mission.



Oldest Read


A new heart. That’s what 11-year-old Graham Dodd wants most for his mom, Lindsey, in “Rare Birds” an illuminating, must-read by Jeff Miller.


Graham is a strong kid who has known adversity. He lost his dad when Graham was just a baby, and he’s had to adapt to the possibility of losing his mother as she awaits a heart transplant.


That’s why the pair move to Sugarland, Florida, from Buffalo, New York, to yet another hospital, Lindsey’s condition worsening with each passing day. Doctors in Florida are certain they can help Lindsey. Though it’s hard for Graham to leave Buffalo, they board a plane, returning to the town where Lindsey grew up.


The move provides promise but hurdles for Graham. One of Lindsey’s old friends lives in Sugarland and offers Graham a place to stay, but Graham doesn’t know he’ll be sharing a room with the man's son, Nick. The boy bullies Graham and threatens to upend his hopes of winning a contest, prize money going to the individual who first photographs a rare, endangered bird.


Since birding was a passion for his mother as a child, Graham wants more than anything to win. Along on his adventures in the Florida swamps is Lou, a girl Graham meets in the hospital who tells Graham her father is waiting a heart transplant too.


The action rachets up as Graham’s mom’s condition deteriorates, and Graham and Lou race to find the bird before the contest deadline—arch rival Nick doing his best to beat them, stooping to devious methods to do so.


Readers will cheer Graham on, a youngster wise beyond his years, and good to the core.



Written by Chris Stuckenschneider. Copyright 2023, Community Literacy Foundation.



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