Wednesday, October 25, 2006


LITTLEBAT'S HALLOWEEN STORY by Diane Mayr, illustrated by Gideon Kendall (Whitman)
A little brown bat in the library's attic overhears an intruiging story about three bears, and another one about a hungry caterpillar. Who can blame him for wanting to get closer, and closer, and closer, so he can see the pictures and hear the story a little bit better? But when the mouselike mammal comes into view of the librarian and listeners, havoc ensues. Littlebat is so dejected; will he ever get to join in the storytime circle? His loving mother warmly reassures him that the right time will come, and as he waits through the seasons, indeed, there is a holiday where he can listen in comfortably and undetected.

When bookloving parent Angela Allyn made this recommendation to me, it was like getting a king-size candy bar in my trick-or-treat bag. Everything this book does, it does right, from the patient passing of time to the endearing mother who always knows what to do and say to make things better. Children will identify powerfully with the longings of our hero, and the conclusion is surprising and satisfying. This is the perfect primary fear-free Halloween read, and a great book about the seasons year-round; the illustrator is tuned in to the rhythm of the library, with lovely details like bulletin boards and the perfect way the reader holds the pictures so everyone can see. It is really a feat how the book is both tender and yet ideal for inclusion in a Halloween storytime; the best thing since Jannell Cannon's STELLALUNA. (4 and up)

Also of interest:
IT GOES EEEEEEEEEE! by Jamie Gilson, illustrated by Diane DeGroat (Clarion) One of the masters of the classroom story pairs two rivals up to give a report on bats that will leave us all the wiser about the animal...and about people, too. (8 and up)
THE BAT POET by Randall Jarrell, illustrated by Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins) In my estimation, this is one of the loveliest children's books ever penned. A little bat poet opens his eyes and tries to share his gifts with the daytime world, but struggles with finding the right audience and appreciation for his art. (Know anyone like that?) Jarrell's awe-striking verse interspersed with his sincere storytelling style will echolocate your heart. (7 and up)

On a personal note:
Off to a bookfair, and then to speak for the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME) (can't wait!). More Book-a-Day on Monday, if not before!

Links are provided for informational use. Don't forget to support your local bookseller.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LittleBat's Halloween was written by a New Hampshire librarian .

Great book for Halloween and bat lovers alike.

M.C. Waterman
Children's Librarian
Wilton N.H.


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