A series of new illustrated publications teaches young children about co-operation through the story of a honeybee. The books, written and drawn by Pippa and Joel Pixley, are designed for 3-5-year-olds, and show how bees can achieve more together than on their own.
The association between bees and co-operation is not a random one. “Throughout history co-ops have used the beehive as a symbol because these tiny insects have so much to teach us about the benefits of working together,” says Gillian Lonergan, head of archive and learning resources at the Co-operative College. “Bee images can be found on co-operative buildings, banners, and in books and adverts.”
The series includes three books: Harmony the Honey Bee, Harmony Helps the Hive and Harmony & the Waggledance. Harmony, who lives in a beehive with her fellow honeybees, is faced with various challenges when trying to forage nectar, build a new honeycomb or find a new home. She copes with these barriers by teaming up with her friends to perform different tasks.
Pippa Pixley explains how the story came about: “What I found really interesting about honeybees was the stages they go through and the different jobs they do before they ever become foraging field bees. It reminds me of how children develop through stages and abilities, too. So I wanted follow Harmony, our main character, through her development and learning process – something that children could identify with.”
“Back home at our studio Joel and I created a series overview for three colourful picture books about a cute honey bee called Harmony, drawing inspiration from the sculpted brick motif at the Toad Lane shop,” she said.
Rochdale Pioneers Museum will serve as inspiration for their next book, which will tell the story of the Rochdale Pioneers in a fun way for children aged 5-7 (in Key stage 1).
- The books can be ordered online via the college and Co-op News readers can get a 10% discount by adding the code COOPNEWS10 at the checkout.
- They will be officially launched on Monday 8 December, 4.30pm at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, with local schools and nurseries attending. There will also be an activity pack available free to early years teachers who should contact [email protected] to request a copy.