The Bees of Notre-Dame -- Book Review with Bee Craft Round-Up


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Did you know that Paris has many beekeepers who keep bees on roofs and other public and private spaces? Paris seems to have realized the necessity of bees for our planet and having them makes us all better. One place they had hives is the roof of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Today I get to share a book with you that shares the story of the bees and the fire at Notre Dame. The book is The Bees of Notre-Dame by Meghan P. Browne and illustrated by E. B. Goodale. It is recommended for ages 4 to 9. I am also sharing a round-up of bee crafts, fun facts, and more!

From the Publisher:

This lyrical, poignant nonfiction picture book tells the fascinating story of the honeybee colonies that lived on the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris and survived the devastating 2019 fire.

High above the bustling streets and gardens of Paris is a little-known wonder: a cluster of beehives. They sit atop the roof of the Notre-Dame cathedral, lovingly tended to by a beekeeper named Sibyle. But when fire broke out in the catherdral in 2019, the bees almost didn’t make it. Firefighters battled heat and smoke, carefully spraying their hoses around the hives, pumping in water from fireboats on the Seine, and, miraculously, they survived.

Meghan P. Browne and E. B. Goodale imbue the story of Notre-Dame’s bees and the fire that almost killed them with great hope. After the fire, there is rebuilding to be done, but with hard work and collaboration, perhaps the cathedral can be restored after all. From the rooftops of Paris to the intricacies of a beehive, here is a moving picture book about resilience in the face of disaster.

From Me:

This book shares about bees as well as Paris. I did not know that Paris had bees purposefully kept around the city. It is such a neat thing, and I hope it inspires other cities around the world to also do this. The book shares about Paris and this wonderful process. The book shares about the bees and their jobs and lives. Then the book shares about the fire that destroyed part of Notre Dame in 2019. The book shares how the firefighters had to work to save the bees. It shares the feelings of the beekeeper, Sibyle Moulin, as she waited to see if her bees would survive the fire. And it shares about the recovery and rebuilding after the fire. 

I love how this book is about a piece of history as well as about Notre-Dame and bees. It shares the story of each throughout it. From the map of Notre-Dame on the inside cover to the information about how it outlived kings, emperors, wars and disease, it shares about Notre-Dame. Then there is information about the bees and their lives. It is packed full of different topics and gives so many ways the book can be used.

The story itself is wonderful and perfect just to read for fun. However, it also teaches about Paris as well as bees. It is perfect for a unit on either. It is also a great book for Earth Day. As the number of honeybees is declining around the world, this book about Paris keeping the bees is a wonderful story to share on Earth Day and discuss how keeping bees is good for Earth. It is such a sweet story of survival as well as culture and science. I hope you will check it out.

Bee Craft Round-Up

To go with this book it seems appropriate to have a bee craft. I asked fellow bloggers for their bee crafts and here are some ideas for you to check out!

1. Letter B and Letter b Crafts from Fun with Mama

2. B is for Bee Craft from Beth Ann Averill

3. Busy Bumble Bee Song & More from The Preschool Toolbox

4. Tissue Paper Bee Craft from Simple Everyday Mom

5. Preschool Bumble Bee Craft from Homeschool Preschool

6. Duct Tape Twirling Bee Craft from Crafts by Amanda

7. Bee Headband from Non-Toy Gifts (note costs money for template)

8. 3d Paper Bee Card from Red Ted Art

9.  Handprint Bee from Simple Everyday Mom

10. Paper Bee Craft from Fireflies & Mud Pies

11. Bee Life Cycle Craft from Non-Toy Gifts (Note: Costs money for template)

12. 3d Bee Coloring Page from Red Ted Art

13. Kindness Bees from Coffee and Carpool

14. Painting to Music Bumble Bee Craft from Next Comes L

15. Paper Heart Bee Craft from Mombrite

1. Egg Carton Bee Craft from Buggy and Buddy

2. Cardboard Tube & Yarn Bee Craft from Buggy and Buddy

3. Paper Plate Bee Craft from Non-Toy Gifts

4. Crochet Bee Pattern for Beginners from Craft Alot on Red Ted Art

5. Yarn Wrapped Egg Carton Bee Craft from Buggy and Buddy

6. Cardboard Tube Bee Craft from Daisies & Pie

7. Torn Paper Paper Plate Bee Craft from Crafts on Sea

8. Bubble Wrap Beehive from From ABC's to ACT's

9. Various Bee Crafts

10. Egg Carton Bumble Bee Craft from From ABC's to ACT's

11. Cardboard Tube Bee from In the Playroom

12. Paper Plate Bee Craft from Simple Everyday Mom

13. Rock Bees from Crafts by Amanda

14. Paper Cup Beehive Craft

Then to go with the book here are some fun facts and bee jokes to share with kids.

1. Fun Facts about Honeybees and Honey

2. Fun Facts about Honey Bees and How We Can Help Them from Kelly's Classroom Online

3. Funny Bee Jokes for Kids from Confidence Meets Parenting

And here are some other bee books to check out for any units on bees or for the bee lovers! The links take you to my review of the book.

1. Bee & Me

2. Flight of the Honey Bee

3. Egg to Bee

4. What on Earth? Bees

5. 100 Plants to Feed the Bees