Written by Katie Shpak, University Writer
Program Chair of the University Pathways Program Laura Albee had her second children’s book published this past April entitled, “Ambush at the Rickety Beehive,” by Bumblebee Books in Great Britain.
Albee wrote her first children’s book, “Witch Tale, when she was in graduate school for a children’s literacy final project. While she had it self-published, Bumblebee Books will be re-publishing it within the next year.
Albee is currently pursuing her doctorate in social work at a local university. She shares, “I enjoy breaking away from writing my dissertation and being able to write something whimsical, yet educational for children,” says Albee.
“Ambush at the Rickety Beehive” is a fantastical tale about an eccentric old man and his devoted swarm of honeybees. The story shares how bees live their lives, while incorporating the importance of love, kindness and resilience.
Albee expresses that her love for gardening was her inspiration for writing “Ambush at the Rickety Beehive”. Albee wrote this book during spring break in April, when she was anxious to get back outside and work on her garden.
“I’ve always been fascinated with flowers, bees, nature. I even own two of my own beehives,” says Albee.
Within Albee’s book, there are selected words that are displayed in a different color and a larger print and font, which are later defined in a glossary. I had asked Albee why she chose to incorporate such challenging vocabulary for children, and she expressed, “Children should be challenged to learn. I think we underestimate a child’s capacity to learn. So many books are written so simplistically that they fail to provoke learning and curiosity. Kids really do love learning new words, especially in the context of a fun and imaginative storyline.”
“In the United States, we go to see a play. In Great Britain, they go to hear a play,” says Albee. Therefore, the publishers in Great Britain loved her choice of diction combined with the illustrations that enable children to hear a word, learn the context around it, and then visualize it with the surrounding images.
Albee shares that we can be expecting more children’s books from her in the future.