When I Lived With Bats (level 3)by Faith McNulty, Lena Shiffman, Betsy Lewin
One summer, a girl and her family share their home with bats and learn how wonderful the flying mammals are.
Children's Literature - Julie SteinbergThe narrator recounts the summer she was 10 years old and her family rented a farmhouse. To their surprise, the house was inhabited by bats. Before living in the house, the girl thought bats were scary and dangerous. But her fears quickly became fascination. While living with them, she discovered bats have poor night vision and use echolocation--locating objects with sound waves--to determine where things are at night. A trip to the library taught that bats are the only mammals that can fly. Only one kind of bat--the vampire bat--will deliberately bite a human and there are no vampire bats in North America. Bats taking up residence in an attic or under eaves are generally harmless to the people in a house. The children's parents told them to shoo the bats outside but not to touch them. But the girl's brother brought a tennis racquet into the attic and swung it, knocking a female bat to the ground. The boy was ashamed of what he had done and the experience made him respect animals. The facts relayed via a fictional story are interesting and easily remembered
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 1-4-These two beginning chapter books will whet the appetites of young scientists. Hopping introduces children to an amazing and deadly natural phenomenon. Many interesting facts about the study of lightning from the historical (Ben Franklin) to the modern (today's computer technology) are included as well as cultural connections (Zeus) and the experiences of people who have survived being struck by lightning. The watercolor illustrations include maps, diagrams, and action scenes. McNulty shares information about bats through her memories of a summer spent in a house filled with these winged creatures. Full- and double-page illustrations show various family members reacting to the animals. This combination of personal narrative and facts is one that children will find appealing and informative.-Maura Bresnahan, Shawsheen School, Andover, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Horn Book MagazineIn a gentle memoir, McNulty recalls her tenth summer when she, her parents, and her twelve-year-old brother lived in a rented farmhouse in the country. Empty of human inhabitants, the house was home to a bat colony. At first the young girl sees the bats outside at night; later, some come inside where they are discovered on mirrors, drapes, and even the shower curtain. The family begins reading about bats, allowing author McNulty to share their findings with readers: bats are mammals; only one species (not native to North America) will deliberately harm humans; brown bats roost in buildings; and in the spring bats have babies. McNulty personalizes these facts by asking readers to imagine themselves as bats. "Imagine skin attached to your body and stretched from the tip of your tail to your ankles and fingers and then to your shoulders; that's what a bat's wing is like." Despite their parents' conviction that the bats should remain undisturbed in the house during the summer, McNulty and her brother one day venture into the attic and there accidentally harm one small bat. Remorseful, they take it to the vet and learn that while this particular bat will survive, the baby she had been nursing will not. Shiffman's soft watercolors underscore the book's non-hysterical tone and extend the text by showing various kinds of bats and their habitats. Half- and whole-page illustrations not only help readers with pacing but also break up chunks of text, making the whole book nonthreatening to advanced beginning readers almost ready to attempt longer chapter books.
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >