{book} bats at the library


Day: 05

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies

Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

My friend Sharie recommended this one–thanks! I really enjoyed it; another good seasonal feel to it, and apt when we think about having access to books and thriving community spaces.

Another inky evening’s here—
the air is cool and calm and clear.
Can it be true? Oh, can it be?
Yes!—Bat Night at the library!

Share the love of the Library with the bats who happen upon a rare treat—an open window at the Library. Dimly lit setting reflect the evening entry, but there is also a tone like that of entering a theater. The colors are rich and soft with and shine in what lighting writer and illustrator provides. It is pretty and the bats are cute without relying on cartoonish affect. There is a lot to enjoy in the details as Lies marvelously imagines bats in a library, minding scale and using found items very cleverly.

But little bats will have to learn

the reason that we must return.

the ones who haven’t come before

have no idea what’s in store.

The rhymes are fun, and Lies really captures the Library experience. The bats enter as community and into community, some disappear off by themselves to read or pick up where they left off while others congregate over common interests in books or conversation. The young bats indulge in activities both book related and no. Who could resist free-reign with the copy-machines, splashing in the water fountain, or raiding the pop-up book section? Still they must mind their volume and energy levels so maybe story time would calm everyone down. Book upside down, many of the young had a perfect view from their perch.

The section where the young bats discover the joys of disappearing into story is my favorite part. Lies weaves literary references rather deftly. It was fun to pick out each of the characters from popular children’s literature who’d been adapted into more bat-like form. If N would have been younger we would have used the book as a scavenger hunt at our own Library to try to find each of the references. Now that she older though, she was delighted to study the figures and identify them on her own.

Bats at the Library is a lot of fun, and really well-written and illustrated. It really reinforces that love for the Library for those in the know, and creates a longing and excitement for those still new to it all. This is one to share with the young, for obvious reasons, but one I think any age would find a smile or three in picking it up as well.


{images belong to Brian Lies, even the ones others have shared and I’ve mined to make you have to check this book out!}

There are more Bats at the… books and Lies is an illustrator for other authors as well. You can find out more at his site.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeremy says:

    This looks fun. Just requested it from the library. I think Emmeline will flip just from seeing bats in the library, let alone reading her favorite books!

  2. L says:

    I hope the two of you have fun with it. let me know how it goes over.

  3. Jeremy says:

    She liked it. Very concerned about the bats reading books upside down though 🙂

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