We're connecting the B's of spring! We started with butterflies, and today we'll flutter upon bats, birds, and baseball. I guess it would make sense to go to bees next, but bee-ing that I haven't seen any yet, maybe we'll wait until it gets a little warmer.
When I think of bats, the first picture book that comes to mind is, of course, Stellaluna, by Janell Cannon. It's the beautifully written story of a baby bat that becomes lost and confused in a birds' world.
The two worlds are so very different, after all.
How could this happen? Well, every animal has its predator, you see. When young Stellaluna's mother is attacked by an owl one night, the baby ends up falling into a birds' nest. When they start living, flying, and eating in a whole new way, Stellaluna slowly learns to adapt to their lifestyle.
Stellaluna just can't seem to get used to many things, though, like eating bugs. Will the young bat have to live this double life forever? Will it ever see its mother again? And what do mangoes have to do with it?
If you haven't read this one with your 3 to 6 year old already, you must! Really.
You could pair this picture book with so many others, but one with a completely different style and theme is Bats at the Library, by Brian Lies. This one's a fun rhyming children's book, and what I love most about it is that it allows you to connect two seemingly unrelated dots: bats and libraries.
When comparing these two books, the difference between reality and fantasy is ripe to be picked! You might just want to follow your child's lead and see what s/he comes up with. You could also ask what might have happened if Stellaluna had landed in a library instead. Sometimes, all parents really need to do is ask a few key questions.
And sometimes, all you really need to do is keep reading! So, here are some other books which would complement these two selections nicely:
With baseball season just starting, why not try another book in the series by Brian Lies, like Bats at the Ballgame?
Or, you could try another book by Janell Cannon. Verdi can be compared with Stellaluna, and the python's transformation goes along nicely with many spring themes.
As each of these picture books is most appropriate for children between the ages of 3 and 6, here are some great nonfiction tie-ins for older, more independent readers:
National Geographic Readers: Bats, by Elizabeth Carney
Time For Kids: Bats! with Nicole Lorio.
It's always nice to have similarly themed picture books around for children of all ages. Photographic books are perfect for independent readers, and some may not even consider them to be picture books, but I do!
I wonder what other B's your child might think of to connect?