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Little Lost Bat

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A TOUCHING STORY BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED

    While bats are not usually thought of as endearing creatures, they are as painted in watercolors by artist Alan Marks. A winner of the Carnegie Medal he does not resort to anthropomorphism but rather depicts the bats realistically with their wings a luminous violet hue and their claws sharply on the ready. His full-page illustrations will be enjoyed over and over again. Sandra Markle has created a touching story of a tiny Mexican free-tailed bat who is born in Bracken Cave in central Texas. He is as small 'as a peanut in its shell,' and the minute he is born at the roof of the cave his mother folds up her tail membrane to keep him from falling to the hungry beetles on the cave floor. This particular mother bat does not have a partner to help her so she must leave the cave to hunt for food for herself and her baby. She returns to the cave often to let her baby nurse and within a week he is beginning to grow fur. However, one night when she is out hunting she is caught by a barn owl. How a week old bat survives without his mother is at the center of this sad and hopeful story. Highly recommended. - Gail Cooke

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