The Harmony the Honey Bee series of three picturebooks is specifically designed to communicate co-operative values to children in the Early Years. These books and the accompanying Foundation Stage Activity Pack were commissioned by the Co-operative College and the Co-operative Heritage Trust.

Read an article about the inspiration behind these stories here . . .



Harmony the Honey Bee introduces the Harmony as young worker bee just ready to emerge from her nursery cell and explore her home environment. Eager to help with every job, she soon discovers the importance of friendship and the value of working together with others. The simple story and clear illustrations provide an ideal starting point for children to learn about the concept of co-operation, but also about specific areas such as colour, shape, counting, retelling and rhyme.

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book2In Harmony Helps the Hive we find our main character ready and excited to discover the wider world as she embarks on a quest to collect nectar and pollen. Harmony’s sense of social responsibility motivates her to keep going despite the obstacles she encounters. She also learns the value of sharing both her knowledge and her resources with others. This storybook is an excellent starting point for activities that help children to think about why we should care for others and for our world. It is beautifully illustrated in ink and watercolour, with linocut leaves and a delicate trail of magical pink flower scent.


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book3This adventurous tale subtly introduces the simple building blocks of successful democracy and group solidarity. The lavish illustrations take the reader on a journey that has parallels in the story of the Rochdale Pioneers who founded a successful co-operative society in the 1840’s. Harmony & the Waggledance involves an important mission to search far and wide for a new hive site. Harmony and her friends need to listen to each other’s views and agree on a course of action. When they find the perfect place they must communicate it’s location to all the other bees by performing the famous Waggledance!

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chtlogoThe series is designed specifically to be useful to Early Years educators who wish to use them as a launching point for a wide range of circle time and group activities, or to stimulate children’s interest in making fuller use of existing continuous provision.

The accompanying Foundation Stage Activity Pack has sections on planning your sessions and preparing the setting, and provides an introduction for each storybook complete with key knowledge and resource suggestions. The activities which can most easily be adapted for baby and toddler groups are highlighted, as are the main co-operative values and early years goals addressed. Each section includes printable and downloadable resources. The pack concludes with information about the foundations of the modern co-operative movement and advice on preparing children for a visit to the Rochdale Pioneers Museum.


Download a sample activity sheet here . . .