By: Janet Halfmann
Illustrated by: Shennen Bersani
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
Publication Date: February 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 8, 2012
In the dark cave a baby bat nestled against his mother as he nursed. Around them “thousands of other moms and babies crowded close, looking like a furry blanket.” His mother’s tongue reached down to clean his little ear. At dusk she would be leaving the cave to hunt so she reminded him that he should practice flapping his wings while she was gone. Soon she joined the other mothers as they swooped through the cave, avoiding the stalactites and stalagmites, as they headed for the entrance. The little bats gathered together to tell tall tales about their mothers’ exploits, but Baby Bat never, ever wanted to leave the cave.
Baby Bat didn’t want to practice flapping his wings, but just in case his mom asked “if he had practiced,” he decided he had to. All of a sudden he found himself airborne and BOOM! He smacked right into a wall and soon found himself tumbling into the nest of Pluribus Packrat. There were all kinds of interesting things he’d collected, but there were many more things to be seen in the cave. Pluribus Packrat got out his flashlight and decided to take Baby Bat for a tour. The first critter they saw was a “phoebe nesting on a ledge.” Further into the cave there was a cricket and some cave salamanders. What kind of creatures would they see when they went further into the cave?
This is a fun, fictionalized book about cave bats and their habitat that the young reader will be entranced by. The picture book format with its charming, appealing artwork will encourage the most reluctant reader to complete the book. When Baby Bat is rescued and receives a tour of his own cave, the young reader learns a lot about the habitat of the cave bat. For example, we learn about the importance of bats to cave life and that “All the food in a cave comes from outside, and bats bring in most of it.” In the back of the book is additional information on cave zones, rock formations, cave habitats, bat echolocation, a bat/human comparison section, and one on the advantages of having bats in and around. Additional learning activities can be found on the publisher’s website.
Quill says: The tale of Baby Bat and life in his cave is a fun, vibrant look at critters whose lives depend on having the bat in their habitat.