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Emma Bee is thrilled to leave the hive and collect pollen and nectar for the first time.

Along the way she makes friends and finds beautiful flowers. But when she flies past Mrs. Muggin’s garden—where all the flowers look the same—she discovers not everyone wants to be her friend, and some flowers lead her into trouble!


Emma Bee is brave and feisty.

She’s proud to be part of her family of honeybees but like so many young leaving the safety of home for the first time, she has some hard lessons to learn. Emma wants to feel the freedom of independence and find acceptance in the bigger world. And like all of us, she wants to be loved.

Emma Bee’s delightful story triumphs with a relatable heroine who zips and zings. Exploring the critical role of pollinators play has never been more entertaining. Young readers get a sweet lesson through charming illustrations.
— Karen Sunderman, Emmy-award-winning PBS television producer

Pamela Fish Carlson, Author

Through her work in educational television, Pamela Fish Carlson came to learn something about science—and art!—in the world of honeybees. Pam hosts and produces the program Great Gardening on PBS station WDSE-WRPT. With the ongoing research showing a threat to bees and pollinators of all kinds, she considered how she could help. With her background in journalism and longtime commitment to early education, a children’s book felt like the right avenue.

Pam also happened to have a daughter with a new degree in visual fine arts and convinced Tessa to try her hand at illustration. As a proud mother of a talented daughter she will happily tell you the collaboration has been a blessing.


Tessa Carlson, Illustrator

Tessa Carlson has long been a lover of the beauty found in nature. The colors of the outdoors inform her art. She began to paint, draw, and create as a very little girl. With her bachelor of fine arts in painting and drawing she works to bring the magic of flowers, foliage, and fauna to the canvas. Growing up she was inspired by the lessons learned from her next-door-neighbor grandparents and their time spent together in Grandma and Grandpa’s huge gardens. Most recently, Tessa started her own urban gardens where she grows healthy food . . . and of course a selection of colorful flowers. To purchase art by Tessa, visit her Etsy shop.


Note from the Author

When my children were young we reveled in outdoors play, most often in our own backyard where wildlife roamed and settled among the ponds and woodlands by our northern Minnesota home just outside of Duluth.  As a toddler, my daughter Tessa was especially fond of flowers and insects, but her curiosity got her a beesting on the finger when she reached for a bumblebee hoping to examine it further or maybe make it a new pet. Tessa was angry at the bee and was convinced it had hurt her on purpose.  

Years later I was listening to a radio report on a White House event where President Obama was reading to children in the garden. Obama was interrupted by a ruckus the kids made when a bee came near. The president calmly told them the bee wasn’t there to do them harm.

As a fierce believer in very early education (yes, I read to my kids in the womb) I’ve always supported the premise of teaching families by getting children excited about learning. Then those kids would hopefully draw the adults in with their enthusiasm of new knowledge.  

I hope the children in your lives find joy in the story of Emma Bee. And I hope that it helps bring better understanding about the natural world.   


Purchase “Emma Bee” at these locations

  • Zenith Bookstore- Duluth, MN

  • Barnes & Noble- Duluth, MN

  • Duluth Folk School (Dovetail Cafe)- Duluth, MN

  • Toys for Keeps- Duluth, MN

  • Bending Birches Greenhouse- Duluth, MN

  • Bookstore at Fitger’s- Duluth, MN