BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Today is our stop on the blog tour for The Bat Book by Charlotte Milner, which follows in the footsteps of The Bee Book and The Sea Book to highlight to children important ecological issues faced by our planet, this time focusing on the world’s only flying mammals.
Read on for a review of The Bat Book followed by an exclusive guest post by author Charlotte in which she shares her top 5 facts about bats.
Book Title: The Bat Book (available here)
Author/Illustrator: Charlotte Milner
Publication Date: February 2020
Most Suitable For: KS1-KS2
You'll want to take a while to hang out with this new non-fiction text, especially if you're batty about facts!
The Bat Book by Charlotte Milner offers a look at all different kinds of bats and their importance to our global ecosystem. With the aim of exploring the topsy-turvy world of often unnoticed 'tiny superheroes', this book identifies important biological features of bats (such as how similar their wing skeletons are to human hands) and how amazingly well adapted the 1300 different species are to surviving in habitats all over the world. The book then turns its attention to how bats are important to humans, common myths about bats, the challenges that particular species face and actions to help endangered bats.
Bats are often villainised in children's stories (my four-year-old's first question when opening this book was 'do they eat people?'), but this book helps to address misconceptions and emphasises what fascinating, varied and important creatures bats are. Bats assist with pest control, spread seeds through the forests, and help to pollinate hundreds of different species of plants around the world.
The Bat Book is an appealing book for curious readers to pick up and can be enjoyed as a cover-to-cover read or as something to dip in and out of, with a clear contents page, subject headings and an index to aid navigation. The images, diagrams and overall design style make it accessible to younger readers but the facts have enough depth to engage and challenge older readers too, making The Bat Book a worthwhile choice for primary school libraries.
by Charlotte Milner, author of The Bat Book
Charlotte's Top 5 Little-known Bat Facts 1. Bats are the only mammals that can fly As the only mammals that can fly, there really are no other animals like bats. Even birds do not fly in the same way that bats do- bats have a completely different bone structure in their wings which is actually similar to the structure we have in our hands. This means they have a lot of movement in their wings, making them particularly agile at flying. 2. Bats can see in the dark The phrase ‘blind as a bat’ is really a myth because most bat species have good eyesight. What’s more, many bats use their ears as well as their eyes to ‘see’ in the dark using echolocation. By detecting sound vibrations and echos, bats can build a complete picture of what is around them. Their image of their surroundings is so clear that they can catch tiny, fast-flying insects with incredible accuracy.
3. There are bats that build tents There are some fascinating ways that bat species make or find a roost. My favourite example is the cute tent-making bat. These small, white, fluffy bats can be found in tropical rainforests and they nibble and fold palm leaves to make their homes. 4. Bats are amazing pollinators Most people think of bees when it comes to pollination, but bats are important pollinators too. They pollinate over 500 species of plant, including some of our favourite fruit trees that grow mangos, guava and bananas. 5. Bats help rainforests to grow Sadly deforestation is happening at an alarming rate as rainforest areas are cleared for their wood and agriculture. Seed dispersing animals are really important to help regenerate these cleared areas. Tropical bat species are excellent seed dispersers because they feed on fruits and fly long distances, dropping the fruit seeds far and wide which will eventually grow into new trees.
For more from Charlotte, visit https://www.charlottemilner.com or follow @CharlieFMilner on Twitter.
Many thanks to Charlotte for writing our guest post and to the publisher for sending us a review copy.
Check out the other stops on the blog tour, too!
> Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub
> Browse our Topic Booklists
> View our printable year group booklists.
> See our Books of the Month