I admit it, I have a soft spot for little brown bats. They are native to the Great Smoky Mountains here in East Tennessee, so I was happy to see one as the principal character in Bats: Learning to Fly. Lil Brown, as we come to know him, is lost and finds himself in the desert, then in the care of a vet. While recuperating, he meets bats of many types and learns more about them. As Lil Brown learns, so do the readers. We find out that different bats eat different things, why they hang upside down, and what humans can do to help protect them. Dangers like deforestation, white nose syndrome, and loss of food sources are all covered.
The unique way that Science Comics present information by having a storyline going in some panels and factual information shown in others really works for readers that are visually literate. They can read along in the story's narrative, then dip into the extra details when they are ready for them. Some might choose to read the entire story, then go back for facts about how and what bats eat, or the various species and their habitats. Others might prefer to read the nonfiction content as it appears alongside the story, explaining more of what is happening to Lil Brown and the other bats.
The back matter has lots of handy information like how to build bat houses, ideas for volunteering or careers (if you would like to work with bats), a glossary, diagrams, and suggestions for further reading. A great addition to a library or classroom, and for use in lessons on bats, nocturnal animals, or animal adaptations.
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