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Little Red Bat    by Carole Gerber & Christina Wald order for
Little Red Bat
by Carole Gerber
Order:  USA  Can
Arbordale, 2010 (2010)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

'A tiny foot clings to the stem of a leaf ... the bat, too, looks like a leaf ... a chilly wind whips through the forest ... The little bat shivers.' Carole Gerber calls attention to the intelligence and shyness of this oft-misunderstood species, as the bat experiences the change in weather conditions. Little Red Bat feels the cold and must make the decision whether to migrate or hibernate, as she ponders. 'Should I stay? ... Or should I go?'

When the red bat falls to the ground into a pile of leaves, 'she curls into a ball and wraps her tail around her body ... then her camouflage changes little red bat to look like a furry pine cone.' A nearby squirrel commends red bat for her good trick, while asking 'aren't you supposed to hang out in a cave?' Little red bat explains that she is a tree bat.

The author takes the reader through conversations with animals in the forest. They give little red bat advice and attempt to help with her decision, at the same time telling her why they choose to stay in the forest or leave. A deer, a rabbit, a chipmunk, a field mouse, a wild turkey, and a sparrow speak of their decisions, while advising little red bat on who or what to watch out for if she decides to stay.

The educational section includes activities, along with more information about Red Bats and how they adapt, along with other animals which experience seasonal changes. The website director of (The Bat Specialists) (a great name for a site, wouldn't you agree?) is acknowledged for the accuracy of information in the book.

Award-winning author Carole Gerber has written over 100 science and reading textbooks, including multicultural folktale series, adult nonfiction books, chapter books, and picture books. Christina Wald's illustrations are splendid in their depiction of the autumn colors of the forest and up-close-and-personal drawings of forest animals. Little Red Bat and her forest friends welcome young readers to read or be read-to about decision-making and helpfulness.

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