Achoo! Why Pollen Counts

School Library Connection

This book will appeal to younger students and teachers. Baby Bear is always sneezing, but he doesn't understand the cause of his discomfort. Mama Bear and other animals give Baby Bear important information about the pollination process and how the pollen causes an allergic reaction. Baby Bear learns that pollen is vital for food and growth for various plants and animals. Each pollen carrier gives Baby Bear an excellent description of their role in the pollination process. Also included is an activity section. These activities may be reproduced for classroom use. Bersani does a commendable job presenting factual information. Her realistic illustrations are appealing. Teachers will appreciate the many science curriculum connections. School librarians and science teachers needing information about pollinators and the pollination process will want to add this to their collections.
- Ruie Chehak

Children's Literature

Full of illustrations and excitement for young elementary students, this book provides everything the reader would want to know about pollen. With four pages of interesting facts at the end, this guide is perfect for the classroom and home.
-Bonita Herold for Children's Literature

Kids Book Buzz - August 2015

"There's a little bear who wakes up from his sleeping in the winter and he starts to run an errand in the fresh air, but he starts sneezing from pollen! He says that he hates pollen, but then he talks to all these animals that need to eat pollen. Bees and lots of insects eat pollen, and spiders eat it too!"

"Pollen also pollinates the flowers so fruits can grow.The owl tells him that pollen clings to rain droplets that freeze in the clouds and then falls as snow, and lots of animals eat the snow, including Baby Bear! So then Baby Bear is happier about pollen, because he knows that it is important."

"I like the story and the pictures in this book. It is something that I think my younger sister would like; I really think it would be a good book for children that are younger than me to learn about pollen."

"At the back of the book there is more information about pollen and pollination and even about allergies, which make Baby Bear sneeze. But my favorite part of the book is the pictures of Baby Bear, because he is really really cute!"

Reviewed by Raif, Age 6

Litpick - March 2018

The more I read this book and looked at its pictures, the more detail I saw and the more I learned. It was like taking a real nature walk outdoors and finding something new to explore with every next step.

World of Ink Network - May 2015

Bersani explains a complex subject straightforwardly and accompanies it with magical illustrations. All of the creatures are clear and beautifully realized.

"This isn't only a book for explaining the way flowers and animals work together to sustain each other. There's also a wonderful section with activities for children guided by adults on flower parts, what allergies are, the pollination process, and the importance of bees as pollinators, and what kids can do to help them along. The author/illustrator has paintstakingly vetted the book with expert input, and combined it with kid-friendly devices like alliteration and onomatopoeia. A wonderful resource that beautifully encourages children to care for the world around them, and casts participating adults in the expert role with the help and resources of this well sourced book."

Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Media - September 2015

"This is a nice mix of a narrative story and scientific fact that might find a home in a primary Common Core classroom."

Heck of a Bunch - May 2015

"If you have an allergy to pollen, it can make you miserable and I'm sure sufferers wish it didn't exist. Achoo! Why Pollen Counts is a children's book that details why pollen is so important (even to those who have to battle with its side effects). The book tells of Baby Bear, who is allergic to pollen. Baby Bear comes across other animals and insects who explain why pollen is important to them. For instance, he learns that some spiders catch pollen in their web and eat it. The animal illustrations are adorable, and the story is interestingly told."

Book Pleasures - May 2015

"What makes this book fun is not only the beautiful, detailed illustrations and a cute storyline that teaches about allergies, but also the informational data at the back of the book for older readers. Any child will love viewing the animals and insects to the floating pollen as they learn how vital this fine powder is to our planet throughout the four seasons."

Penny's Book Reviews

"Baby Bear's mother cleans him off, and tells him more about pollen and pollinators. Sandy Spiderling, Zoe Zebra Butterfly, honey bees, hummingbirds, Lili Ladybird-all play their part in the cycle of pollination-even Sammy Snowy Owl. Some animals spread pollen, while some eat it. Ms. Bersani's illustrations are expressive, detailed, and support the story perfectly."

"In the back of the book are additional pollen and allergy facts, some matching exercises to test your pollination knowledge, and educational information about bees: the great pollinators. This beautifully illustrated, educational book is highly recommended for school and home libraries, and for children ages six through eight."


"The illustrations are attractive, filled with rich colors, and four pages of learning activities at the end of the book add to its classroom usefulness. One of the best parts of the book is how Baby Bear changes his mind. What is one animal's annoyance is another one's livelihood."
-Barb, Goodreads reviewer

"Shennen incorporates facts educating children on the parts of flowers, what an allergy is and the pollination process throughout the story and in more detail at the end of the book. For parents and teachers and librarians, she offers activities and creative ventures for use of the book as well."
-Traci Bold, Goodreads reviewer

It's use of clouds of pollen and cute soft characters provide a smooth mesmerizing effect that other books cannot capture. This book will be a favorite daily reader and bedtime story for toddlers, pre-school, and K-3 grades. I must rate it five stars."
-Toni Musco, Goodreads reviewer

Feathered Quill Book Reviews - June 2015

"This is a fun book that will teach young children about pollen and why we need it. Of course many children who are allergic to some forms of pollen might not find it useful, but they will adore Baby Bear. He sneezes here and there throughout this highly informative book, one that makes it easy for children to understand the pollination process. The artwork is fun, vibrant and the picture book format makes it easy for even the most reluctant reader to learn some very interesting facts."

Outnumbered 3-1 - June 2015

"The illustrations are adorable while still teaching kids about pollen in a fun and interesting way."

Bookloons - June 2015

"Writer and illustrator, Shennen Bersani has done a great job of explaining why even pollen has its place in the world. In addition to Bear's story, check the final pages of the book for a glossary and an education section called For Creative Minds. Helpful teaching activities about pollen and allergies are also available online."

Chat with Vera - June 2015

"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"

MyMcBooks Blog - August 2015

"It was interesting to know that pollen is good for the forest and also provides food for many animals. Some types of pollen are light and float in the air, while some are heavier and cling to flowers. Many insects ear pollen, the spiders catch pollen in their web and eat it for dinner. The bees use pollen and nectar to make beebread. Ladybug snack on pollen in the fall, they find that it has plenty of protein to help them hibernate in the winter. Also, it’s interesting to know that pollen floats high in the cloud. It clings to water, freezes, and form ice crystal. They grow, fall and form snowflakes. Pollen makes some humans and animals sneeze but it also provides food for many animals. The last 4 pages include learning activities from understanding allergies, flower parts, pollination process, bees are the great pollinators pollinator matching – animals spreading pollen from flower to flower. Great illustrations which helps tell the story."

So Cal City Kids - October 2015

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. When his friends gather to tell him why thy need pollen, Baby Bear learns that pollen is good for the forest and provides food for many animals, including him! Pollen might be something we all love to hate, but can we really live without it? This story explains why we need it.

An Apel A Day - February 2016

I've always been an allergy/asthma sufferer. This book relates to me. I know my nephew Edison is getting the book, but I also know his family is filled with allergy sufferers as well. It takes a complex topic, and makes it understandable to anyone. I like the writing, and the cute illustrations. One thing that is different about this book compared to others is that it has 4 pages of learning activities in the back for creative minds.

VegBooks - April 2016

Though I've reviewed books for Vegbooks about food allergies in the past, we are not strangers to seasonal and environmental allergies in our house. Both kids loved the inviting illustrations of Baby Bear and his forest friends and were fascinated to learn that pollen is a protein rich food. Even spiders eat pollen, while bees use it to make something called “beebread.” Both were new pieces of information for us!

Bob Walch Reviews - May 2016

Here's a very good picture book that will explain the role of pollen in nature. It will also be very useful to share with a child who suffers from some type of allergy caused by plants. I liked the narrative and the activity pages the author includes. Pollen is a very important aspect of the natural cycle outdoors and this book will help you explain why that's so. Use it in the classroom or at home to help your child understand why some of us can be miserable even though pollen is so vital.

Lit Pick - Six Minutes Author Interview

Get to know author and illustrator Shennen Bersani through this short interview with LitPick! Here is a short snippet from Shennen, "There are over two million copies of my books across the globe! I travel the country doing research for my books and speaking to students. I love reading. I love bringing books to life. I love my job!"

Lit Pick Student Reviews - March 2018

I would recommend this book for children three to seven years old to enjoy with their parents. Kids with allergies will be able to identify with Baby Bear and maybe see a brighter side to pollen. - hawkreader

Achoo! Why Pollen Counts is written for children ages 5-8, but I can't imagine who wouldn't love this book (no matter how old they are)! It is a fantastic multi-purpose book that is perfect for anyone who enjoys nature or wants to know more about pollen. The artwork is detailed enough that young children can picture walk themselves through the basic story. Parents can help their children learn the names of specific creatures that they may not have seen before or do not know yet. Anyone could use it as a guide to help others understand allergy symptoms better, what pollen is, and how it's used in nature. The more I read this book and looked at its pictures, the more detail I saw and the more I learned. It was like taking a real nature walk outdoors and finding something new to explore with every next step. - Jonny