Title: Bat Count
Author: Anna Forrester
Illustrator: Susan Detwiler
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
“If our barn really is a maternity roost, and our bat has pupped, we’ll have two,” Jojo explains in Anna Forrester’s children’s book, Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story.
~ What ~
This thirty-two unnumbered page paperback with a thick folding jacket cover targets children ages eight to twelve years old who enjoy an informative story about bats. With no scary scenes, it may be best read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording. Expressive, colorful illustrations grace both sides of the tale’s pages.
In this short story, Jojo and her twin baby brothers and parents have the interesting job of counting bats that nest in their barn every year. As the numbers sadly drop to only one bat, they spend a night outside, waiting for the mother bat to return. When she does, not only is the family happy to see her, but they are excited with the growing count of bats.
The last four pages have more educational tools of learning activities for creative minds that involve information about bat facts, their body parts, white nose syndrome, helping them survive, and how to be a citizen scientist.
~ Why ~
Although I am not one that cares for bats, they are fascinating creatures as this book explains in the story and end. I liked that it told how bats usually birth one pup at a time, can succumb to a deadly illness, and yearly counted. The ending has a plethora of facts regarding mega- and micro-bats, echolocation, body parts such as thumbs and tails, how white nose syndrome is spread, protecting them, and resources for counting.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like bats may steer away from this educational book, but they may learn a thing or two of interest. Others may wish there were puzzles or games about bats included.
~ Who ~
An amateur naturalist, Forrester enjoys writing about nature as she creates gardens and green spaces for children. This is her debut children’s picture book. Detwiler is not only an illustrator of several award-winning children’s books but also an author who lives in Maryland with her husband.
~ Wish ~
I wish more books like this were available that had a story yet provided knowledge and information that a young child could learn in a fun, engaging way.
~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book about bats for elementary-aged children, this will delight many interested in the unique mammal.
Thanks to Arbordale Publishing for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.