What a great way to introduce children to scientific procedures and citizen involvement. Being a participant in citizen science projects - specifically the Feeder Watch Program and the Great Backyard Bird Count through The Cornell Lab of Ornithology - I found this book a delightful read and the bat count program quite interesting.
Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story
Written by Anna Forrester
Illustrated by Susan Detwiler
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing (February 2017)
Animal conservation, bats, family, science, volunteering
Synopsis (From Amazon):
Jojo is prepping for an exciting night; it s time for the bat count! Bats have always been a welcome presence during the summers in the family barn. But over the years, the numbers have dwindled as many bats in the area caught white-nose syndrome. Jojo and her family count the bats and send the numbers to scientists who study bats, to see if the bat population can recover. On a summer evening, the family quietly makes their way to the lawn to watch the sky and count the visitors to their farm.
“The sun is dropping behind the ridge and the red-winged blackbirds have quit their squalling, so I know it’s almost time.”
Why I like this book:
First of all, the text is very lyrical and combines a wonderful family story with science. A young girl and her family join together, on a warm twilight evening, to count bats roosting in their barn. A family snuggle blends with a science project. Secondly, the beautiful illustrations capture both the deepening twilight and the obvious affection among JoJo's family. The family's joy in nature and their concern for the bats carries the reader through the story to the final four pages which provide detailed information about bats, white-nose syndrome, and how to get involved. It's a great book for learning about bats and citizen science. It's also a sweet tale of two loving families with twins.
- four pages of information and activities are included at the end of the book.
- Arbordale supplies a 30 page teaching activity guide at http://www.arbordalepublishing.com/documents/TeachingActivities/BatCount_TA.pdf
- make a bat(s) puppet https://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/crafts/Bat-Finger-Puppet.aspx
- participate in a bat count (Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Department)
- participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count (Christmas & February) or the Project Feederwatch program (November-April) through the Cornell Lab of Orinthology.
This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.