A Mighty Impact in a Tiny Package: The Carpenter Bee, Nature’s Li’l Samaritans, Book One by Kirsten L. Marie
Sometimes the smallest thing can impact us in the most profound way.
A chance encounter, a child, an insect—Authors’ Lounge fans, thank you for this opportunity to share my debut children’s book, The Carpenter Bee. I’ve long been compelled to write children’s fiction and am proud of the powerful message conveyed within these pages. As a veteran English teacher and school librarian, scholarly journals and their readers were my target audience. I dreamed, however, of creating the kind of stories that had transported my daughter and I decades earlier, that I would share with my grandchild today, that revealed insights on being human. Then, the universe provided the perfect nudge in the shape of a huge, hairy, wounded bee, and my book was born.
Book One of the Nature’s Li’l Samaritans Series, The Carpenter Bee recounts a parent and child’s extraordinary encounter with the unknown—a large, scary, hairy, black bee.
Based on a true rescue, at its surface the story illustrates how a mother and daughter use their local library to become informed about something unknown, which helps them move past their fear to aid an injured insect.
Lyrical verse and colorful photo illustrations weave together this multilayered tale with its themes of compassion, helping, and interconnection. On the narrator’s journey of discovery, her fear transforms into appreciation for this insect’s beauty and value. Readers witness her metamorphosis as her descriptions of the creature subtly evolve from foe to friend.
Peeling back yet another layer, The Carpenter Bee is a call to our divided society.
It serves as a gentle reminder that, when we learn about and help each other, true magic happens. How much stronger is a society united, where we value each other’s worth and contributions? By book’s end, the young narrator shares: “As I reflected in my bed/about this day’s event,/of creatures small and great, you see,/a change I underwent./I felt a part of something grand/beyond what I can see./I felt a part of everything/and everything of me.
“What does helping behavior look like? How does it benefit both the giver and the receiver? What if people were taught to learn about the unknown instead of taught to hate it? Parents and educators striving to address these questions to raise empathetic, responsible future citizens and environmentalists will find that the book provides easy inroads to discuss these lofty yet accessible topics.
Children ages 3-8, grades pre-K through 4, who enjoy the outdoors and insects will find the story compelling and entertaining.
They can also be prompted to share their animal or insect experiences in story time. As the main character models the behavior of going to the library to research the carpenter bee, readers are made aware of the valuable resources awaiting them at their school and public libraries.
The Carpenter Bee is also educational. Readers will encounter new words and find the useful glossary. Valuable information on these insects, such as their nesting behavior, will inspire curiosity and further exploration. There’s also a trace/color section at the book’s end with several of the most beautiful carpenter bees for added fun. My favorite is the Valley Carpenter Bee, with its beautiful rusty color and hints of green.
Fans of The Carpenter Bee expressed such enthusiasm for its themes of compassion and interconnection.
I have completed another true, highly interactive, rescue tale titled Rhyme of the Aged Hummingbird, Book Two of the Nature’s Li’l Samaritan Series, which has almost twice the number of pages. Its narrator, an Anna’s hummingbird, takes readers on a bird’s-eye adventure, where they will hear his special tale and find out how he reached his wise old age. Stimulating S.T.E.M. content, (did you know that hummingbirds can dive up to 60 mph?) are included among the colorful pages.
Thank you Authors’ Lounge readers for letting me share my books with you. For more information, feel free to visit me, Kirsten L. Marie—The Earnest Librarian. Find these titles on Amazon and where books are sold. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok, Pinterest, and Goodreads.