May 23, 2013

A Place for Bats by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Higgins Bond

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:06 am by suebe2

A Place for Bats
by Melissa Stewart,
illustrated by Higgins Bond
AR 5.0

Mention bats and you get one of two reactions from people.  Cool! or Eww!

I learned I wasn’t alone in thinking they’re awesome on a Scout camp out when I spotted them zipping around the campsite, gobbling up mosquitoes.  When another Mom asked me what I was looking at, I just shrugged.  “Oh, I thought you might have seen the bats. They’re awesome.”

And they are. Bats pollinate crops (including mangoes), keep pests down, and are part of the food chain for other predators.

Unfortunately, we do many things that can harm bats.  In addition to pesticides, Stewarts book taught me that even wind turbines can be harmful.  It isn’t because the bats fly into them, but the difference in air pressure actually causes blood vessels to burst.  Eww!

Don’t think this is one of those gloom and doom books.  Stewart peppers the text with ways that people can help the bats who live around them.

The text is composed of a short main text that gives information on how we share our environment with bats.  There is also a sidebar for each spread that talks about a specific type of bat, such as an Indiana Bat or a Western Red Bat, and how it’s struggle to survive can be helped by simple steps taken by caring humans.

Bond’s acrylic paintings show an amazing amount of detail ranging from the finger bones in a Mexican Free-Tailed Bats wings to the amazing ears on the Virginia Big-Eared Bat.

I have been fascinated by bats since I was little and my grandfather would walk me into the mines where I would see wee tiny figures clinging to the walls.  Whenever I’m in a cave, I look for bats.  And I’ve learned where to spot them in the roofs at Scout camps or soaring around bill boards lit along the highways.

Share this with the young nature lover in your life and spend your evening searching for the swooping, diving figures of the bats that share our world.




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