I only had a few minutes in the library and needed a Halloween-themed book to read to my son on Halloween night. After flipping through the shelves in vain for a while, I stumbled on this book with bats in it. It was a little long, which doesn’t generally make for very good bed time reading to a tired kid with short attention span, but I was out of time and desperate.
As it happens, this was an absolutely wonderful little book.
The rhythm and rhyme of the text has a great flow, so it was fun to read out loud and held my son’s attention despite the book’s length. It also uses words like “hibernation,” which is something we’ve been talking a lot about as the weather gets colder, so it was lovely to be able to show my son an example of an animal in a story doing it. There’s also a reference in the story to echolocation (though the word isn’t used), so we got to talk about that as well.
The bats use a variety of instruments and make music in several different styles, so that gave us some more conversation pieces. The morning after we first read it, we opened the book again and, with YouTube, looked for examples of all the musical styles referenced in the book. We tried to match up the instruments being played by human musicians to the ones in the book, talked about the sounds they make, to beat, etc.
In other words, the book has tremendous value as a learning launch pad.
The artwork is lovely and very detailed, with a lot going on that we could talk about (in particular, my son loved the recurring image of the parent bat carrying a baby bat in a carrier). Unfortunately, it being bats, the images are a bit dark. If I had enough light to read by, the glare made the images a little hard to see. This may have been an issue with the texture of the pages, which is slightly matted. I’m not sure. But in any case, it didn’t detract from the overall wonderfulness of the book.
I highly recommend it for the toddler and preschooler set.
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