Bats are intriguing critters that children may not have the opportunity to see. This book from the "Spectacular Animal Town" series allows readers to get an intimate view of the life of bats. Two catchy paragraphs about 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats make up the introductory chapter. All chapters use short sentences and many high-interest facts to let readers know about how bats hunt their prey, live in a bat nursery when young, travel long distances, sleep, and eat. Especially interesting to some readers may be the spread on vampire bats that tells how they suck blood from cows and chickens and share it with others in their colony by spitting it up for hungry members to eat. Large, vivid photos will capture the attention of readers. One captivating photo shows a man holding the world's largest bat, which has a wingspan of five to six feet. The end chapter talks about the future of bats and discusses what people can do to help these creatures whose numbers are declining. Captions and side bars add to the main text. One end page consists of a chart with bat facts. This book and others in the series are sure to be of high interest to students in elementary and middle school. The controlled text is kept at a third grade level. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6–This delightful series highlights the habitats of a variety of creatures, from tiny one-celled corals to bats, beavers, and prairie dogs. Through excellent photographs, high-interest texts, sidebars, maps, and other material, children learn about both the animals and their habitats. The species are shown not only within their own kind, but also in relation to those that share the habitat. For example, coral reefs are discussed in terms of the individual corals that make up the organism, and in relation to other animals that inhabit it and environmental situations that benefit or threaten it. Each book also provides brief profiles of animals with similar habitats. The publisher’s Web site provides links to other Web sites and activities about each animal profiled. These books are much better than average “report” titles.