Author: Janet Halfmann
Illustrated by: Shennen Bersani
Year published: 2012
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
Number of pages: 35
Recommended age: 3 to 8
Child Rating: ★★★★★
Grown-up Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
Summary (from Amazon): Baby Bat loves his cave home and never wants to leave it. While practicing flapping his wings one night, he falls, and Pluribus Packrat rescues him. They then explore the deepest, darkest corners of the cave where they meet amazing animals that don’t need eyes to see or colors to hide from enemies. Baby Bat learns how important bats are to the cave habitat and how other cave-living critters rely on them for food. Will Baby Bat finally venture out of the cave to help the other animals?
- 4-6 pg For Creative Minds educational section in the back
- 40-60 pg cross-curricular Teaching Activities and 3 Interactive Quizzes available free on the book’s homepage
- eBooks with Auto-flip, Auto-Read and selectable English and Spanish text and audio
What it’s about: This book is about a bat who is scared to fly and then its mama bat leaves him. It then tried to fly but he hits a wall and falls into a nest. He then meets a friendly rat who shows him all the animals that live in the cave and all of the good things bats do. The rat takes Baby Bat back to his home in the cave. When his mama comes back he tells her that he practiced flying and he says that he was ready to hunt with her.
What I liked and disliked about it: I would be scared of flying if I was a bat because I would be scared of being eaten by the kinds of animals that like to eat bats. I learned that there are lots of different animals that eat bat poop so bats are really important to other animals. I also now know that bat poop is called guano. Of the animals in the book, I liked the bat, snake, the cave crayfish, and the white spiders best. Another thing I learned is that even though bats have eyes, they don’t see really well and use sound to tell how far away things are.
I didn’t like that the bat crashed into the wall because I liked the bat and I felt bad about him getting hurt.
My bottom line: I really liked this book and I think that other boys and girls my age would like this book.
What it’s about: Home in the Cave by Janet Halfmann is a delightful story of a little bat who fears having to venture out of his cave to go hunting with his mother. With his mother’s encouragement, he practices his flying within the boundaries and safety of the cave walls, until he accidently collides with a wall and tumbles into the nest of a friendly rat named Pluribus Packrat. Pluribus takes Baby Bat on an adventure to discover the importance of bats to the ecosystem of the cave. Will Baby Bat finally get the courage to leave the safety of his home to do what little bats are supposed to do: hunt insects?
What I liked and disliked about it: What a charming little book! The thing I like the most is that the author chose to feature an animal that is, in comparison to the cute little kitties, puppies, and bunnies often featured in young children’s books, surrounded with mystique and is largely viewed as undesirable – a bat. Halfmann does a great job of demystifying bats and describing their important role in our ecosystem. In fact, many of Halfmann’s other storybooks also feature animals that are not so cute and cuddly, such as skinks, starfish, porcupines, snakes, and so on. She is also the author of several non-fiction children’s books about many different critters including bugs, mongooses, scorpions, lizards, as well as many others.
I actually learned something about bats myself. I knew about the benefits of guano but I learned about the variety of other cave-dwelling creatures which rely upon the bats’ dinner scraps as well as the bats’ other – ~ ahem~ – by-products. At the end of the book, there is also a four-page spread outlining more information about caves, stalagmites and stalactites (I can never remember which one points which way!), cave creatures, as well as more detailed information about bats. I really like how Halfmann includes the debate around whether bats are good or bad, helping kids understand how every creature has its own place in our ecosystem.
Aside from the educational value of the book and the beautiful illustrations, the story itself covers important themes such as finding the courage to “take flight” and seeing the value and taking pride in who you are and how you contribute to the wider society as a whole. Baby Bat teaches us all a lesson in this respect.
My bottom line: I really, really liked this book because it has a strong story and it has educational value. I would recommend this book (and other Janet Halfmann books) to boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 8.
** The book Home in the Cave by J. Halfmann was provided free-of-charge by the author. **
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Where to Buy?
* Janet Halfmann’s books including Home in the Cave can be purchased in Canada through your favorite book seller. *