Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Place for Bats

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives to see what non-fiction others have to share, too.

Title: A Place for Bats 
Author: Melissa Stewart 
Illustrator: Higgins Bonds 
Publisher: Peachtree Pub 
Publication Date: 2012 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction-Expository/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: In simple yet informative language, A Place for Bats introduces young readers to ways human action or inaction can affect bat populations and opens kids minds to a wide range of environmental issues. Describing various examples, the text provides an intriguing look at bats, at the ecosystems that support their survival, and at the efforts of some people to save them. At the end of the book, the author offers readers a list of things they can do to help protect these special creatures in their own communities. Artist Higgins Bonds glorious full-color illustrations vividly and accurately depict the bats and their surroundings.  
What I Think: At the beginning of this school year, a coworker sent me a picture of a furry little bat sleeping next to my stapler on my desk. I was so happy I wasn't there to see that and he assured me that he disinfected my stapler but it still had me a little creeped out. Fine, a lot creeped out. After reading this book, I feel a lot more comfortable with bats though!
    I'm sure most people would say the dislike bats...I'm totally guessing this, but in my mind, bats don't seem to get as much love as say, kitties, on Pinterest or YouTube. I'm just saying...
     After reading this book, I have a totally different perspective on bats. There is a lot to be said for the food chain and for how animals keep things in check because of this food chain. Well, bats play a large role in the food chain as well. It was interesting to read about all the things that bats do and how we kind of need them around. At the end of the book, the author even talks about how we can have bat houses or shelters on our trees to make sure bats have a place to hang out. (A pun! I crack myself up.)
     On GoodReads, a friend asked me if the pictures in this book were different from other bat books. I have to say I haven't read that many bat books but I thought this one seemed unique. There weren't photographs in the book, instead the artwork is done in a way that the illustrations seem almost lifelike. The book also had text that narrated the information about bats simply but then there were also boxes on each layout that shared a more anecdotal note that supported the text on the page.
Read Together: Grades K - 6 
Read Alone: Grades 3 - 6 
Read With: Extreme Animals: Vampire Bats by Seymour Simon, other expository text about bats 
Snatch of Text: 
"Bats make our world a better place. But sometimes people do things that make it hard for them to live and grow.
If we work together to help these winged creatures of the night, there will always be a place for bats."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Asking Questions, Making Connections, Author's Purpose 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Persuasive, Personal Narrative   
Writing Prompts: After reading A Place for Bats, write a persuasive essay to a person you know who might not like bats - you might want to persuade this person to change his or her mind about bats or you might want to persuade this person to read this book to learn more about bats. Write about a time in your life when you changed your opinion about something: What did you think before? What made you change your mind?  
Topics Covered: Bats, Life, Integration - Science
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