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A bossypants bee learns a lesson about the value of the contributions of others.

Little Spider loves almost everything about her garden home—but the “bizzz, buzzz, boss-boss-boss” of the worker bee as she makes her rounds is, frankly, a buzzkill. Fulfilling the “bossy female” stereotype, Bossy Bee lords it over the rest of the garden creatures, explaining the importance of her job as a pollen collector and distributor to the worm, the ladybug, and the lizard. With keen understanding of the psychology of a narcissist, Little Spider asks Bossy Bee for advice—and then quickly traps her in her web. Unable to move, Bossy Bee can only watch as the worm, the ladybug, and the lizard perform their essential tasks: The worm enriches the soil; the ladybug eats aphids; the lizard eats slugs. Chastened, Bossy Bee declares, “Oh, Spider, I promise to stop being bossy. / I’ve learned a lesson today. / I’ll respect other creatures and value their jobs. / We should work as a team every day!” It’s a valuable lesson even though it’s imparted in earnest doggerel (all the creatures speak in rhyme). Tolland’s painterly illustrations emphasize the lushness of the garden, sometimes at the expense of clarity of composition—with so many bright colors to look at, it’s hard for the eye to focus.

Useful information and important insight delivered in mediocre verse and via gender stereotype. (Picture book. 3-6)

This article originally appeared on Kirkus Reviews