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Julie JustThe rhyme scheme is not the smoothest…but it doesn't matter; the charm is all in the story itself.
—The New York Times
Lies's (Bats at the Beach) much-lauded bats are back and the library's got them-thanks to a window left open by an unsuspecting (or perhaps sympathetic) librarian. Although the young ones initially misbehave (they make photocopies of their bodies and turn the water fountain into a splash pool), Lies cuts them a little slack: "It's hard to settle down and read/ when life flits by at dizzy speed." Story time settles everyone (upside-)down, and soon the furry creatures are "completely swallowed up" in books, giving Lies comic license to bat-tify the signature visuals from classics like Make Way For Ducklings; Pippi Longstocking; Goodnight, Moon and Peter Rabbit. As with its predecessor, this book's richly detailed chiaroscuro paintings find considerable humor at the intersection where bat and human behavior meet. But the author/artist outdoes himself: the library-after-dark setting works a magic all its own, taking Lies and his audience to a an intensely personal place. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In this companion to Bats at the Beach (Houghton, 2006), Lies pays homage to the pleasures to be found within libraries and books. The story opens on three winged creatures clinging to an autumnal branch against the backdrop of evening. Observant readers will recognize the young bat with yellow "water wings" from the earlier title and notice that the chimney and trees at the top of the page point downward-a cue to attend to perspective. The bats are bored, but an antidote is announced: someone left a window open in the library. The golden glow from spotlights on the side of the building and an Arts and Crafts-style reading lamp illuminate the nocturnal adventures in this handsome, traditional space. The bats cluster according to interests. Some peruse "guides to fancy foods" (insect books) and form literary discussion groups. The younger mammals make images of themselves at the copier, frolic in the fountain, play at the computer, and explore the gingerbread castle in a pop-up book. An impromptu storytime brings everyone together, however, and after the pint-size protagonist is literally drawn into the featured book, two spreads reveal a montage of scenes from classic stories, with bats in the starring roles. Lies's acrylics are a successful fusion of fantasy and reality. The rhyming narrative is generally smooth, with enough humor and sophistication to propel readers along. And who can argue with the message?-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
"Dark, inky acrylic paintings accompany a sprightly rhyming text, a wonderful sequel to 2006's completely charming Bats at the Beach." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"These book-loving bats might encourage young readers to explore more stories on their own.” 08/03/08 San Antonio Express-News
" appealing acrylic illustrations that teem with bats so charming they will even win over chiroptophobes."
"In this latest from Lies, it's all-deservingly-about the artwork. He brings a sure, expressive and transporting hand to this story."
"...the charm is all in the story itself." September 14, 2008 The New York Times Book Review
Posted September 25, 2008
This is a fantastic book. It is cleverly written and the illustrations are just a delight. My little boy is 7 years old and he LOVES it. I got it along with Bear Feels Scared and Nose Pickin' (and 50 Other Ways to Tickle Your Brain!). They are all great books that everyone should get for their child.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 18, 2009
This book is great! It is based on the Riverside Public Library in IL where the author spent time w/ his grandparents when he was younger. And yes, the library really does look like that inside. How do I know? I work there. :-) The story is adorable and it's so much fun to try to pick out the stories that the bats are reading during their trip to the library. And who left that window open to let them inside? The world may never know. :-)
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Posted August 21, 2008
Posted April 12, 2009
What a wonderful way to promote the adventures waiting for you at the library! The illustrations are fantastic, especially the pages where the bats imagine themselves as classic characters in the books they are reading. The story's nice rhyming rhythm makes it fun to read over and over again.
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Posted January 26, 2012
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Posted November 9, 2011
A fabulous storyline that brings the real magic of libraries to life. I really enjoyed the story, and the pictures are great. I love libraries, and I love Bats At The Library!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 30, 2010
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Posted November 19, 2010
The storyline is adorable, but the delight of these books is in the art. Watch the little guys swim in the drinking fountain or become characters in their favorite story! You'll notice something different each time you read it-and so will the kids!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
My nephew is just as "batty" about this story as he was for "Bats at the Beach." He told his Mom it was one of his favorite Christmas presents. Brian Lies has done it again with our bat friends in another familiar setting-the local library. The bats have personalities that jump out from the pages.
This is a great book for children. Adults will enjoy it as they read along.
Posted November 22, 2009
I'm a bat lover and have been recently teaching my 4 year old twin nieces about these cute little animals. I came across this book while browsing B&N last weekend and fell in love with it. The illustrations are really impressive. One little bat is depicted with inflatable floaty wings throughout out the story which I thought was a creative little detail. And I really liked how the bats were portrayed as different characters from classic books. Really cute story about having fun at the library! I can't wait to give this book to my nieces! A portion of the proceeds from the book go to Bat Conservation International, an added bonus!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 9, 2009
A colony of bats sighs collectively in boredom. The evening is still young, and they've already eaten, swooped, and soared to their hearts' content. They want to do something different, so they follows the rumors of an empty window, excited to find that the window belongs to the local library.
Though they don't get to see inside the library very often, many members of the colony look forward to this rare treat. The older ones rush off to explore the shelves of books, while the little ones romp through the halls, using a projector to make shadow puppets or playing in the water fountain. The adult bats settle the little ones down with a lively story time, until every bat on the premises can imagine themselves in the various worlds of books.
After a wonderful evening with Little Red Riding Bat, Make Way for Batlings, and the Velveteen Bat, they see the sun lightening the sky outside the window, and know they must leave. However, they all look forward to the next time a librarian leaves a window open, so they can have another Bat Night at the Library.
Smooth rhymes and even more impressive artwork make this second book on the bats of Brian Lies a truly delightful read for anyone, young or old. Rich detail and humorous visual characterization of these tiny winged mammals will make even the youngest reader giggle, and teach the importance of reading at the same time.
Posted June 6, 2009
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If you are a book lover, this book is for you. As a bookseller, I come across many kids books, but this is one of my favorites. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is inspiring.
Bats come into the library and have a marvelous adventure. I love how Mr. Lies shows interaction with the books and how much fun a reader can have by falling into each story. So wonderful. Bats at the Beach is also good.
Get these books for your library today.
Posted March 23, 2009
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