Author: Joan Holub
Illustrator: Mernie Gallagher-Cole
Year published: 2008
Publisher: Darby Creek, Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.
Number of pages: 64
Recommended age: 5+
Son Rating: ★★★★½
Mom Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
Summary (Goodreads): Fink, a bat, is having a tough time getting to sleep. His brother Fang decides he needs a story – a scary story. Now Fink really can’t get to sleep. Next, brother Batrick thinks he has the answer – an adventurous pirate story. Fink is so excited that he is even more wide awake. Then sister Batsy offers a dramatic romance story about Cleobatra. That’s even worse. How will Fang finally get to sleep? There’s one story yet to hear . . . will it be the one that works?
What I liked and disliked: I liked that the book had three stories. All the stories were funny and good. My favorite story was the adventure story with the pirates because the captain kept saying the wrong things. It was nuts. I also liked the Kissy, Kissy story too because it was funny. The Swamp Owl story wasn’t scary for me, but it was scary for the bat because he couldn’t go to sleep.
I liked the pictures. They were good but I wish they were in colour.
My bottom line: This book was fun to read and I would recommend it to boys and girls 10 years old and minus.
What I liked and disliked: I was pretty excited when Joan Holub contacted us requesting a review of some of her fabulous books, including her newest book in the Goddess Girls series, Pandora the Curious (to be published December 2012) and the first book in her new series, Heroes in Training #1: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom (co-authored by Suzanne Williams and published August 2012). Those reviews are forthcoming, but to our delight, we received a copy of Bed, Bats, & Beyond in time for Halloween. I am SOLD on this author!
We are introduced to the bat family when Fink wakes up his brother Fang as the sun is coming up and he has difficulty falling asleep. Leave it to Fink’s siblings to come to the rescue with three of the wackiest bedtime stories. In the first story, Fang tells his brother a scary story about the Swamp Owl. The second story, narrated by Batrick (another brother), is a high seas tale of a slightly off-kilter pirate captain named Captain Batty, who along with his loyal crew, must battle Captain Owly for a buried treasure. In the third tale, Fink’s sister Batsy, shares with her brothers a “love-gone-bad” story of Cleobatra and Prince Tutwinkle. Luckily, Mom saves the day by coming up with the best bedtime story.
What I loved about this book was the quirkiness of the stories. For example, the way Captain Batty spoke by mixing up common pirate talk – saying “Come back, you scurvy navels” and being corrected by his crew “I think he means ‘scurvy knaves’ – was absolutely hilarious. My kids and I were literally laughing out loud. Without giving too much away, there are a couple of unexpected twists and turns in the stories as well as two surprise endings. I love being surprised and Holub really thinks outside of the box to provide readers with a most unique reading experience.
There are black and white illustrations on each page so the kids and I really enjoyed the visuals accompanying the text. I thought the style of illustration was appropriate for a Halloween picture book. This is a fairly long book for younger children who are not independent readers so the pictures were really helpful in breaking up the text.
My bottom line: I absolutely adored this book. Holub’s writing style is unique and I really enjoyed reading this most unpredictable Halloween book. I would recommend it to kids aged 5+ and their families.
Bed, Bats, & Beyond was provided to us by the author free-of-charge in exchange for our honest review.
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