________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 34 . . . . May 6, 2011


Little Red Bat.

Carole Gerber. Illustrated by Christina Wald.
Mt. Pleasant, SC: Sylvan Dell (Distributed in Canada by Codasat Canada), 2010.
32 pp., hardcover, $23.50.
ISBN 978-1607180692.

Subject Headings:
Bats-Juvenile literature.
Bats-Hibernation-Juvenile literature.
Bats-Migration-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Ian Stewart.

**** /4



A tiny foot clings to the stem of a leaf. The foot belongs to a little red bat. The bat, too, looks like a leaf.

It's a bright fall day, and a chilly wind whips through the forest. It shakes the leaves, blowing many to the ground.

The little bat shivers. "Should I stay?" she wonders. "Or should I go?"

A moment later, the plump little bat lies on the ground. The leaf she clung to is beside her, blown down by the wind. Instantly, the little red bat curls herself into a ball and wraps her tail around her body. Now, the little red bat looks like a furry pine cone.

Who knew that a little Red Bat could be endearing? Thanks to award-winning children's science and textbook author Carole Gerber's exquisite account of the common Red Bat's life and the charming illustrations by Christina Wald, young Canadian children will have the opportunity to learn about the much maligned bat.

     Animals adapt to the changing seasons in a variety of ways to ensure their survival. The Red Bat, we discover, has a choice to make. It can either hibernate over the winter or fly along with migrating birds to warmer southern climes.
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     In Gerber's story, the bat meets up with fellow woodland creatures: deer, squirrel, rabbit, mouse, wild turkey, and chipmunk, all of which have their particular ways of adapting to ensure species survival in the harsh northern winter. They also warn the little bat about many potential dangers she faces: people owls, hawks, foxes, cats and raccoons. In the end, the little bat decides to fly south with a flock of sparrows, hopefully to safety.

     The story is charming enough; however, the book also contains a "For Creative Minds" educational section which deals with the biology and life cycle of the bat, how animals deal with seasonal changes. On-line teaching resources are also available at: www.SylvanDellPublishing.com.

Highly Recommended.

Ian Stewart has had a varied career as a Reading Recovery, literacy and math support, kindergarten and grade 2 & 3 teacher at David Livingstone School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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