Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Achoo! Why Pollen Counts by Author/Illustrator Shennen Bersani

Hardcover: 9781628555509, $17.95
Paperback: 9781628555592, $9.95
About the book: Spring has arrived and pollen is in the air. Baby Bear does not like the pollen—it sticks to his fur and makes him itchy and sneezy. He’s allergic! Achoo! He just wishes the pollen were gone. But when his friends gather to tell him why they need pollen, Baby Bear learns that pollen is good for the forest and provides food for many animals, including him!

My thoughts: Allergies are so unpleasant and affect so many folks. Allergies to pollens are dreaded but few folks who are contending with this problem stop and think how thankful they should be for the pollens. In Achoo! Why Pollen Counts the young reader learns about allergies and also about the importance of pollen.

Personally, I'm one of those affected by pollens and I, like "Baby Bear," contend with the days of itching and sneezing during the pollen season. However, Baby Bear meets a variety of critters  including spiders, butterflies, and small animals who each explain how pollen helps them.
The story is sweet and the illustrations absolutely wonderful. The lessons on the value of pollen and how it is spread and its purpose and action in the cycle of life are really good. I love, too, the "For Creative Minds" pages at the end of the book. These enable the parent or teacher to further expand the learning opportunity with more information and activities.

I have just one little question. Do animals in the wild experience allergic reactions to pollen? While it makes for a cute story and Baby Bear is charming, in a book that deals with educational insights, it is important not to introduce inaccurate information in the story line even for the sake of a sweet tale. Click "comments" below and read author's response to my question, "Do animals in the wild experience allergic reactions to pollen?"

Love the book. Love the information. Absolutely love the illustrations!

Author/Illustrator Info: While  is an award-winning children’s book illustrator, Achoo! Why Pollen Counts is her debut picture book as an author. Her art delivers a unique blend of realism, heartfelt emotion, love of nature, and life lessons for children of all ages. She has illustrated Salamander Season; Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea; The Shape Family Babies; Animal Partners; Shark Baby; Home in the Cave; The Glaciers are Melting!; and Astro: The Steller Sea Lion for Arbordale. Shennen has also illustrated a number of best-selling books, including, Snakes: Long, Longer, Longest; Sharks: Big, Bigger, Biggest; Ocean Counting: Odd Numbers; and Icky Bug Shapes. Shennen lives near Boston. For more information, visit her website at

I was provided a complimentary copy by Arbordale Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are solely my own. I received no compensation for the review.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi Vera,
    Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I am so delighted you
    enjoyed "Achoo! Why Pollen Counts". I wanted to help answer your question
    regarding wild animals with allergies. I have spoken to horse owners who have told
    me their horses have sneezing fits when they graze various weeds. I realize,
    though, that is only the owners' observation. When I was researching the book I
    read about dogs and cats with pollen allergies. Here are a few sources:
    When I researched the information for the book I wanted to be sure the main character was an animal that sneezed like humans do. Here are some YouTube videos I found of a baby bear sneezing:
    Never Ending Sneezing Bear - PetTube - YouTube
    Here Morton sniffs around in the grass before he sneezes:
    Morton the SNEEZING BEAR CUB - YouTube
    And a sneezing baby panda bear:
    Baby Panda Bear Sneezes! - YouTube
    I hope your readers will find these links useful. I am happy to answer any questions they might have! I can be reached through
    Sincerely yours,
    Shennen Bersani
    author and illustrator of "Achoo! Why Pollen Counts"

    1. Thank you, Shennen, for your great answer to my question about wild animals sneezing or having allergic reactions. Great information.

  3. You are very welcome Vera! My pleasure.

    Shennen Bersani


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