Saturday, April 29, 2023

*Review* Camilla Super Helper by Julie Dillemuth Phd.

Genre: Children's 4-8 years
Published: May 16, 2023
Pages: 32

Can super helpers Camilla and Parsley help their friends the bees find enough flowers and water during a hot, dry summer?

Camilla the Cartographer and her loyal sidekick Parsley are back again to help their friends in this third companion book to the critically acclaimed 
Camilla, Cartographer. With summer comes sun, lemonade, and...drought? Camilla and Parsley's bee friend Melli and the rest of her hive are having trouble finding enough water and flowers to make honey. Can Camilla use her mapping skills–and the friendship of the other forest animals–to help?

Includes a Note to Parents & Caregivers with more information about map-making, spatial awareness, and the importance of bees!

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

The number of books that have been on my radar within the past couple of years about the bee crisis lead me to believe that bees are this generation's ozone layer. Talk about the hole in the ozone layer and it's danger and what was causing it seemed like a really big deal when I was a kid. Dwindling bee population seems to be becoming a pretty big deal now. The message in all the books is pretty clear. We need to act now before it's too late, just like we did for the ozone layer. 

This story is about a young warthog (?) named Camilla who sees her bee friend struggling in his present environment to do his bee job, and she wants to help. She gathers her community to make the forest a more bee friendly environment with water stations and even more flowers closer to the hive. The story shows these steps helping the hive thrive, and they are easy enough things for humans to do in our own communities too. The message is subtle here, but it's definitely there. 

The illustrations were a fun mix of the animal characters doing animal things and human things. They were clearly being humanized, but not completely. They really helped to show the story and the various steps that can be taken to help save our bee community, and probably other pollinators as well. Overall I give this book 4.36 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Julie Dillemuth has a PhD in geography with expertise in spatial cognition. She is passionate about writing picture books that help children (and adults!) develop and practice spatial thinking skills. Her stories have appeared in Highlights for Children and Odyssey magazines. She is the author of Lucy in the City, Mapping My Day, Camilla, Cartographer, and Camilla and the Big Change. Visit

Laura Wood’s work can be found in picture books and magazines, including Lucy and the City, Mapping My Day, Camilla, Cartographer, and Camilla and the Big Change. She currently lives in Milan, Italy. Visit, @LauraWoodIllustration on Facebook, and @laura_wood_illustration on Instagram.

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