Open just about any bat book and Dr. Merlin Tuttle's name appears: in the credits as photographer, in the acknowledgements as consultant, in the text as scientist and founder of BCI (Bat Conservation International), or in the bibliography as author. He is the real world's "batman," a dedicated scientist whose initiative, research, and perseverance have changed many people's opinion of bats from expendable to essential. Laurence Pringle's enlightening focus on the man and his work reveals a person who knew at a very early age who he was, what he wanted to do, and how he went about doing it. The good doctor, whose photographs illustrate this very readable book, is someone youngsters should meet, even when bats aren't on the agenda. Especially when Mr. Pringle makes the introduction.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-- Fear and ignorance have been Merlin Tuttle's chief obstacles in his fight for the worldwide conservation of bats. This cogently written title focuses on the noted mammalogist's life and work, while also debunking a variety of myths about these much-maligned small animals. The text briefly describes Tuttle's childhood fascination with nature, his formal education and early fieldwork, and the development of new techniques in the field of wildlife photography. Also examined are the general physical characteristics of bats and their ecological importance as pollinators and distributors of seeds. Approximately two dozen photos taken by Tuttle illustrate the text; all but two are in color. These include captivating close-ups of bats in flight and feeding on fruit or insects. Well organized and superbly photographed, this title offers a unique perspective on these gentle mammals and will complement Johnson's Bats (Lerner, 1985) and Pringle's Vampire Bats (Morrow, 1982; o.p.). --Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library