Big Brown Bat

Overview

Whoosh! Big brown bats rush off on their nightly hunt, but one stays behind to have a baby.

As summer turns to fall, the baby bat grows bigger. He learns to fly, then to hunt. Soon he has fattened himself up for the long winter ahead, when he?ll hibernate until the spring sun returns once more.
 

Big Brown Bat is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Overview

Whoosh! Big brown bats rush off on their nightly hunt, but one stays behind to have a baby.

As summer turns to fall, the baby bat grows bigger. He learns to fly, then to hunt. Soon he has fattened himself up for the long winter ahead, when he’ll hibernate until the spring sun returns once more.
 

Big Brown Bat is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A solid addition to elementary and preschool libraries."—Kirkus

Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
I have never really thought of bats being cute and cuddly, but this book convinced me that even bats have a certain charm about them. One evening all the bats leave their "hangout" and search for food. One bat stays behind to have her baby and even though the bat pup cannot see right away, "he snuggles under his mother's wing and drinks the warm milk she makes for him." After several nights, the mother leaves her pup to go hunting and the baby squeaks the whole time she is away because he misses her. The story takes the reader through the life of a baby bat until he reaches adulthood. This book is well written and even though it is nonfiction, it is done in picture book format. The author uses sentences like "The pup grabs on to her fur and purrs himself to sleep like a kitten." That takes the thought of ugly and scary away from the reputation of bats. Much information is provided to the reader in just twenty-eight pages. At the end of the book is a page entitled "Bat Basics." I had no idea that there are about 1,000 different bat species in the world or that a bat can hover like a hummingbird and go both forward and backward. This is a very interesting book and can be enjoyed by all who read it. One does not usually think about using a picture book for gathering information, but Big Brown Bat is certainly an exception to the rule. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3

One summer evening, when "the sky belongs to night creatures," brown bats swarm from a farmhouse attic, leaving behind one bat who soon gives birth. Simple explanations and realistic paintings follow the young bat through the summer weeks of growing to maturity. It's the birthing season, and several babies now huddle for warmth through the night, crying for the return of their mothers. Before long the featured youngster is ready to fly and fumbles through his first attempts to master hunting. There's a bit of explanation of bat physiology and more emphasis on the animal's use of sound to identify food and communicate. As fall comes, the bats depart from the farmhouse to roost in an underground cave to hibernate before beginning the cycle once more. Why don't they stay in their warm, safe attic? No explanation is offered, though a concluding page gives a bit more information about the species, including its actual modest size-belied here in some of the enlarged close-up views. The book is a competent, if sketchy, introduction to this common U.S./Canadian bat, and it will certainly attract readers. Since bats have been widely covered in both picture books and nonfiction titles for children, libraries should select this title as needed.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston

Kirkus Reviews
With previous titles including beginning looks at bluebirds, beetles, turtles and frogs, Chrustowski now turns to the only flying mammal, the bat. Keeping to his winning formula, he begins at birth and follows a big brown bat through to its first winter hibernation. Along the way, readers will absorb facts about bats that are woven seamlessly into the story: They drink their mothers' milk, they use sound to locate their prey and they can eat half their body weight in insects every night. Accurate vocabulary defined within the illustrations makes this especially accessible for the youngest readers. Backmatter includes some basic bat facts as well as more specifics about the big brown bat species. Colored pencils over watercolor wash create both crisp details and rich textures in the illustrations, which assiduously refrain from anthropomorphizing their subject while at the same time accurately presenting them as essentially nonthreatening. The night sky trades places with a cozy attic as the bats soar and snooze. A solid addition to elementary and preschool libraries. (Informational picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805074994
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 8/19/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.26 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

RICK CHRUSTOWSKI is the author/illustrator of several books about animals and their life cycles. He lives and works in an old farmhouse on a hill in Wisconsin.

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