Sunday, September 30, 2018

Fall Reading 2018 The Secret Life of the Little Brown Bat


Laurence Pringle is a well recognized name in the genre of narrative nonfiction (see his previous titles on the red fox and owls for further examples). In this latest title he takes us through a year in the life of a little brown bat, beginning with a summer evening as several young males leave the abandoned barn where they roost and head out to hunt for food. The illustrations throughout the book support details in the text like the meticulous care that bats take of their wings, or the way they use echolocation to navigate and find food in the night. A lovely spread shows Otis as he "zigs and zags, flutter and dives, hovers and swoops, dips and swerves."

Don't get me wrong - this is not a book where the animal is named, prettied up, and humanized. The name Otis is actually "chosen for the bat because of the species' scientific name: Myotis lucifugus." Back matter explains that choice along with more details about the little brown bat, including the danger to their population from white-nose syndrome (WNS). There is also a glossary to help with terms like ultrasonic.

This is a great addition to any elementary school library collection, or a perfect gift for a young reader interested in wild life. For those like the students in my area where there are numbers of little brown bats trying to survive WNS, this is a good choice to use in lessons on threatened wildlife populations in local habitats.

I received a review copy from the publisher.

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