cover image Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night

Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night

Rob Laidlaw, illus. by Barry Kent MacKay. Pajama Press, $18.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-77278-039-0

Author and animal welfare activist Laidlaw shows some love for the undervalued bat, while celebrating the work of other bat-enthusiasts to educate the public about the animals. Laidlaw explores bat anatomy, diet, habitats, species (more than 1,300 identified), and threats facing bats today. Writing in first-person for some sections, Laidlaw describes witnessing a “tornado-like spiral of Mexican free-tailed bats” emerge from Bracken Cave outside San Antonio, Tex.; concerned citizens helped protect the cave from development that would have negatively impacted the bats. Throughout the book, Laidlaw profiles young “bat citizens,” including four- and five-year-olds Eleanor and Samson Davis, whose hot chocolate stand raised more than $100 for the Organization for Bat Conservation. In addition to the striking photographs, a gatefold features a life-size painting of a hoary bat in flight. Many readers will be inspired by Laidlaw’s implication that anyone can become an animal advocate with enough curiosity and compassion. Ages 8–12. (May)