Bat Citizens

48p. glossary. index. photos. websites. Pajama Pr. May 2018. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781772780390.
Gr 3–7—This extensive introduction to the world of bats covers a wide range of topics from where they live to what they eat to how they communicate. Laidlaw debunks myths such as bats are blind and discusses threats to their survival, such as the devastating disease, white nose syndrome, and human disruption of hibernating sites. He explains the vital role bats play in pollination and insect control. Particularly interesting are 10 profiles of "bat citizens" from around the world who are helping conservations efforts through activities such as constructing bat boxes and helping with research studies. Many are teenagers, but some began work while in elementary school. Most pages include a large text box with small photos and fact boxes along the edges. A center gate fold opens to reveal a larger-than-life hoary bat with various anatomical features labeled and explained. A list of suggestions for ways readers can help bats plus a long list of organization websites should encourage bat enthusiasts to get involved.
VERDICT Even readers who don't actively engage in citizen science projects should gain a new appreciation of bats through this engaging overview. A good choice for most school and public library collections.

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