By: Carole Gerber
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
Publication Date: March 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 19, 2010
A little red bat’s foot clung tightly to the stem of an oak leaf. The autumn winds had begun to blow and she wondered to herself, “Should I stay…or should I go?” Colorful leaves were fluttering to the ground and the next thing you know the little bat was lying on the ground curled up in a ball looking like “a furry pine cone.” A gray squirrel noticed her and began to talk to her, but she was shy and didn’t answer right away. Both the gray squirrel and the bat normally hung out in trees, but with the oncoming winter it was time for the little bad to decide if she should migrate or stay, but she was tentative and had questions. Would she be able to stay warm? If she left, “which way should she fly?” The squirrel warned her to watch out for owls.
A deer approached, foraging for twigs and bark along the forest floor when she noticed the little red bat curled up into a ball. “Why are you still here?” the deer wanted to know. The deer explained how and why she was staying and left with the warning to watch out for raccoons. Perhaps the raccoon would think the little red bat was a pine one. A bunny came by, but she was not a threat. The little red bat spread her wings on the ground and listened to the bunny as she talked. Her warning was clear as she said, “If you stay watch out for opossums.” The little red bat had a lot to think about because the animals of the forest who were staying were warning her about the predatory animals who would love to snatch her up and eat her. Would the little bat try to nestle among the leaves for the winter or migrate south with the sparrows?
This was a charming tale that will teach children not only about how the red bat deals with change of season from autumn to winter, but will also teach them about how several other animals survive the change. Children will also learn about squirrels, deer, rabbits, chipmunks, mice, the wild turkey and sparrows. Through the gentle dialogue the reader will find out what the red bat eats, what they do during the winter months and will learn about the predators the red bat must be on the lookout for.
Presented in storybook form, the conversations between assorted animals and the little red bat make it easy to absorb a lot of factual information, a set up that I liked a lot. The artwork was exceptionally well done and the two-page spread of all the animals, including the human ones, was very appealing. In the back of the book there are additional facts about the red bat, including an illustration of the bat and an adaptations quiz, a section on how animals “deal with seasonal changes,” and the life cycle of the red bat in activity form. Additional activities can be accessed on the publishers website.
Quill says: This little red bat has a big wonderful story to tell you about her life and the life of many other animals in the forest!