Drones don't do much

22nd June 2001 at 01:00
UP THE GARDEN PATH SERIES. By Judy Allen. Illustrated by Tudor Humphries. Kingfisher pound;5.99 each. ANIMAL LIVES SERIES. By Sally Tagholm. Illustrated by Bert Kitchen. Kingfisher pound;4.99 each.

In Are you a Bee? and Are you a Dragonfly?, for pre-school children, Judy Allen has had the imaginative idea of inviting her readers to put themselves in the place of a baby dragonfly or a growing bee.

This she does with attractive directness and the minimum of anthropomorphism - though older readers will be amused by her description of the division of labour among bees: "Your brothers are drones. They don't do much. You and your sisters are workers. You do everything." The illustrations by Tudor Humphries are full of interest and activity.

My real quarrel is with the use of language. The authors employ a mixture of scientific observation - "a female otter's droppings can tell a male that she is ready to breed" - and more self-consciously "literary" language - "the shimmering darkness is terrifying to the little otters". For children struggling to learn the difference between different kinds of writing, this could be confusing.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now