Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night – Rob Laidlaw

 Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night – Rob Laidlaw, Pajama Press, (9781772780390), 2018.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5: (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book? For a fairly slim volume (48 p.), this book contains so much information about bats! Taking a global perspective, Laidlaw presents details about a surprising number of the 1,300 species of bats that exist, including physical characteristics, habitats, raising their young, threats, and the benefits of preserving a healthy bat population. There are repeated calls to contribute to bat conservation efforts, and numerous examples are provided of young people, nicknamed “bat citizens”, who have already stepped up to help. Every two-page spread contains text about bats, a box of “Bat Facts”, a profile of a young “bat citizen” and between four and eight photos. It is fascinating to see photos of so many different bats and the young people involved in saving them. End pages include lists of ways to help bats and bat conservation organizations, a glossary, and index.

Anything you didn’t like about it?   A drawback to having so many photos on each page is that the photos sometimes seem smaller than optimal in order to fit.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommended both as a topic for animal-related research projects and for display at Halloween time for readers in upper elementary and middle school.  For additional batty information aimed at this age group, pair with Bat Scientists from the Scientists in the Field series or Hanging with Bats by Karen Taschek.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries, middle school libraries, and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  599.4

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Top half of the pile if non-fiction animal topics interest you, but don’t be surprised if you wind up putting up bat boxes in your backyard afterwards.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  7/16/18

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