cover image Megabat


Anna Humphrey, illus. by Kass Reich. Tundra, $12.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6257-7

Daniel hates his new house and misses the friends from his former hometown. But he cheers up after discovering that he’s sharing his attic bedroom with a talking fruit bat, Megabat, who was accidentally shipped to Canada from the Borneo rainforest in a box of papayas. Like Daniel, Megabat feels out of place and alone; as his tears create puddles on the floor, he explains, “A bat is dripping. From a great sadness.” Daniel introduces his new roommate to Star Wars movies and apple juice, and the bat becomes hooked on both, even fashioning a lightsaber from his juice-box straw. The boy enlists the help of his next-door neighbor, Talia, to return Megabat to Borneo, but multiple plans backfire. Augmented by amusing graphite illustrations from Reich (Carson Crosses Canada), Humphrey (the Clara Humble series) tells a story that intensifies when Megabat falls in love with the pigeon who saves his life, cementing his decision to stay in Canada and precipitating, in Megabat speak, “a muchly happy ending.” The winged hero of this warm tale returns in Megabat and Fancy Cat, due out next April. Ages 7–10. [em](Aug.) [/em]