Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another book surprise

Well, I just can't contain myself. I have to tell you about another serendipitous find at the local library. As I was browsing last week for "B" books, I saw Bats at the Library by Brian Lies. Bat starts with B. We love libraries. Illustrations look cute. Let's check it out.

Turns out I picked another winner. Before we even had a chance to read it, My Sweetie and I spotted it on a display at a bookstore on our date night. I thought to myself, "hmmm...maybe it's actually a decent book."

When I finally sat down to read it to the kids we had a blast. The story is a funny one about some mischievous bats who discover an open window at the library and let themselves in. They make all kinds of silly fun, such as photocopying themselves and "swimming" in the water fountain. What captivated the Big 3, however, were the scenes of the little bats imagining themselves in all the stories they read. Mr. Lies puts a clever twist on many classic stories - like a literary inside joke. There is Alice talking to the Cheshire Bat; a familiar scene from McClosky's Make Way for Bat-lings, and many more. If you look carefully, you might even spot a Hobbit hole!

To top it all off, the paintings are done in chiaroscuro style (sharply contrasting light and dark,) which is a good tie-in to some Renaissance art we'll study later this year.

I tend to know more about older children's books - I own children's bibliographies like The Book Tree and Honey for a Child's Heart. It's harder for me sometimes to determine if a more recently published book is one we want to spend our time on. But with Bats at the Library, I think we found a keeper.

Apparently our batty friends have had a previous adventure in Bats at the Beach. We'll have to track that one down and check it out. You can discover both books for yourself at the author's website. Happy Reading!


Mary@notbefore7 said...

Our library didn't have your apple book...sigh...hope they have this one!

Anonymous said...

Both this and the apple book sound great! How are all the kids liking The Secret Garden? Our read aloud for the summer was Swiss Family Robinson, (on my mom's recommendation) and I was so surprised at how much I loved it!!

Joyful Mama said...

I will have to look for this book at the library, next week! Ahhhh... Secret Garden......great book! Another great apple book ~ How to make an apple pie and see the world by Marjorie Priceman ~ great geography lessons... :)
~Have a great day~

Melissa Lester said...

We'll have to be on the lookout for this one. It sounds detailed enough to keep us all engaged!

she who must be obeyed said...

keep the great book ideas coming - you inspired me to do a little more with my preschooler (though you are costing me a lot with Amazon!) And we are hoping to start Secret Garden here soon - loved that book growing up!

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

ooh...don't mean to cost anybody $$!! you're supposed to go to the library!