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Sarah, Jay, Chalk the dog, Zubin, Zoya and of course, Beebop the friendly Bee. A warm welcome to these new friends that came into our lives, appropriately packaged as a gift in the Beebop series children’s books by Harper Kids. The lively kids, the dog and the bee meet each other in a park and become compatriots in their adventurous journey together. Each of the books in the series is a simple short story around their fun escapades and has an enjoyable pace to it. I really love how the other characters such as Zoya and Zubin’s parents and grandparents also feature in the stories and appear distinctly Indian, something that our kids can really relate to.
When I first started reading “Zoya and the Bee” to my one and a half year old, he just did not show any interest and kept turning the pages. I was slightly disappointed as I was really enjoying the book and felt that he should like it too. But I didn’t give up. On the fourth attempt to read it to him, he started looking at the pictures and saying didi, bhaiya, uncle, doggie and to my surprise, even bee. We went over all the characters again and again and he really had fun pointing to them and naming them. I realized then that it is a good enough start into reading if my child sees me reading and enjoying it, like I did with these books. Slowly, as he gets older, he can start repeating more words with me and enjoying the stories too.
Each of the books is accompanied by an activity book based on it’s story and has fun activities and puzzles such as “Spot the Difference”, “Word Maze”, “Coloring activity”, “Join the dots” etc. I can imagine that for 4-7 year olds, this can be very engaging and exciting. These A6 size booklets can surely come in handy when traveling with kids in order to keep them busy. They come in 3 levels according to proficiency in reading – Level 1 is for those children that are beginning to read. Level 2 and Level 3 are higher proficiency (according to the publishing company), but I have yet to read them. From my experience, I can say Level 1 is good for ages 4 up. So, go ahead and grab your copy. I, for sure, am looking forward to reading more about the adventures of this spirited bunch.