Kid’s Book Review: A is for Bee

Kid’s Book Review: A is for Bee

About the Book, Author and Illustrator

This beautiful book is an interesting and playful introduction to the concept of languages and nouns having different names in different languages. It has been crated by Ellen Heck and is published by Pushkin Press.

What letter does the word bee start with? If you said “B” you’re right – in English! But in many, many languages, it actually starts with A. Bee is Anu in Igbo. Ari in Turkish. Aamoo in Ojibwe. And Abelha in Portuguese.

Ellen Heck is a printmaker. For the past decade, through several print projects, she has explored questions about identity. Inspired by reading Lithuanian alphabet books to her son, A is for Bee is her debut picturebook.

Book Review

I love spotting the same letters on each page

Mum’s opinion – This is such a beautifully illustrated book and a lovely book to introduce children to different languages in this alphabet book in translation. As a linguist it was great to discover languages I never knew that share the same first letter of the same animal
E.g. – I is for Fish – Ikan in Malay – Iwak in Javanese – Iqalluk in Alutiiq. I had never heard of Alutiqq so looked it up and found out it is language spoken in Alaska. This book fuels discussions with children on languages, animals and countries and it was wonderful to see my local language in this book : S is for lion – Simham in Malayalam, which is spoken in Kerala, South India where we have just visited. A great feature included at the back of the book was scanning the QR code to hear native speakers pronounce the words.

Theo’s opinion – A colourful book with many letters, animals and languages. It is nice to learn different languages and listen to the words at the same time. I love spotting the same letters on each page and I love the pictures of the tiger and the elephant. I hope to visit some of these countries that speak these languages soon.

If you would would like to buy a copy of the book we invite you to order it from your local independent book shop.

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Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!


Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Theo
  • Age: 3 years
  • Likes: bananas, Teletubbies and ducks
  • Dislikes: water and rice
  • Favourite Book: The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
  • Favourite Film: The Boss Baby
  • Favourite Song: Five Little Ducks