Bats are one of the most misunderstood creatures in the animal kingdom, and vampire bats are the most misunderstood and feared species within this mammal group. The author dispels the myths often associated with these predatory animals and provides an informative discussion about these intriguing fliers. This volume takes a close-up look at vampire bats and describes their physical characteristics, skills, behaviors, habits, habitats, hunting methods and relationships with humans. Perfect for young researchers, this resource contains a "fast fact" section, full-color photographs, factual sidebars, updated information, well-written text, a range map, a glossary, a list of books for further reading, a list of useful addresses and Internet sites and an index. This title will make an excellent addition to elementary classrooms and school libraries. Part of the "Predators in the Wild" series. 2001, Capstone Press, . Ages 7 to 11. Reviewer: Debra Briatico
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-The nature and habits of two nocturnal predators are clearly delineated in these succinct introductions. Each one briefly describes its subject's major physical characteristics, natural enemies, and relationship to humankind. Miscellaneous facts are also offered in a few extended picture captions. While the books are clearly written and well organized, the photographs are less satisfactory as they do not always match the texts. For instance, in Anacondas, a photo of a solitary snake coiled on a log accompanies a caption describing "Breeding Balls," a behavior in which up to a dozen males wrap themselves around a female to mate. In Bats a photo of a furry lump that might be a bat caught in a net appears above a caption describing the use of anticoagulants to control bat populations. Two pages of "Fast Facts" at the beginning of each title highlight basic information (average size, weight, etc.), while a "Myth versus Fact" page contrasts several fear-inspired beliefs that people have with scientific findings. A shaded world map shows the featured animal's geographic range. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's Slinky, Scaly, Slithery Snakes (Walker, 2000) and Laurence Pringle's Bats (Boyds Mills, 2000) are good general introductions, but they do not provide as much detailed information on these specific animals. Therefore, these new titles will help fill a gap.-Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.