Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Children's Literature

Bats at the Library written and illustrated by Brian Lies

Bibliographic Information:

Lies, B. (2008). Bats at the library. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN-10: 061899923X


Ever wonder what bats do when they are bored? I mean, every night flying around eating bugs; it can get a bit monotonous. So, when the bats hear that a window has been left open at their favorite nighttime hang out, they all head over to the library. After swooping in, they each find their niche and "hang out" reading, discussing, playing... Shadow figures using an overhead projector, computer games, and copy machine antics are just a few activities the bats get involved in, but most of them love the books. Groups are scattered around listening to stories or discussing books. But the illustrations in the book are really what makes it so magnificent. Each bat envisions him/herself in the role of the main character of one of many books. Guessing what those books are, is great fun!

Lead Comments:

I read this to my 6 and 9 year old daughters and we all loved it! We had so much fun trying to figure out the books that the bats were imagining in the illustrations. I think we were able to figure out most of them, but some left us stumped. The story itself is fun and lively and the feeling of love for libraries is felt throughout the book. Bats at the Library inspires the reader to read more!


Kirkus Reviews: (Excerpt)
In this latest from Lies, it's all-deservingly-about the artwork. He brings a sure, expressive and transporting hand to this story of a colony of bats paying a nighttime visit to a small-town library. There is a lovely image of a group of bats hanging around the rim of a reading lamp listening to a story; the peach-colored light illuminates the immediate vicinity while the rest of the library is shadowed and mysterious. The rhymed text, on the other hand, feels unmulled, leaving the artwork to do the heavy lifting. Buy it for the pictures. (Picture book. 4-8) (Retrieved September 1, 2009 from BarnesandNoble.com )

From Booklist: (Excerpt)
An open library window is an invitation for a colony of bats in this sequel to Bats at the Beach (2006). Once inside, older bats look for favorite books, while younger ones explore and play. Storytime settles everyone down and transports them into the tales, filled with bat characters playing new roles. The rhymed narrative serves primarily as the vehicle for the appealing acrylic illustrations that teem with bats so charming they will even win over chiroptophobes. Preschool-Grade 3. --Linda Perkins (Retrieved September 2, 2009 from Amazon.com)

Teacher Tools & Librarian Leads:
This book provides plenty of teachable moments leading the teacher into discussions about trespassing, appropriate library behavior, but mostly about other books. Having the students guess what books are illustrated and then having some of those books available for the children to look at and maybe even check out is a great idea. Bats at the Library inspires reading and shows how books are loved and cherished. This idea of loving reading can also be discussed.

There are at least two different types of bats in the illustrations, so that can lead into a science lesson on bats and their habits as well as the different kinds of bats. An art lesson on making bats can also be done using black or brown construction paper and a simple patten. Fun to read this around Halloween and then hang all the children's bats from the ceiling!

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