THE BAT IN THE BOOT by Annie Cannon


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Cannon's first solo outing (she illustrated Jo Carson's You Hold Me and I'll Hold You, 1992) demonstrates she is as at home with text as she is with pictures. No word is wasted in this lyrical account of children who discover a baby brown bat nesting in an old boot in the mudroom. Respect for living things is evident in the soft pen and tempera drawings that show the children and their parents gently shaking the baby loose from its hiding place in an old boot, feeding it warm milk with an eyedropper, and making it a safer nest in a shoe box. Later they speculate on how the baby bat came to be lost. That night the mother bat returns, gliding though an open window; as the family watches, she rescues the baby. According to the author's note, that satisfying conclusion is based on true events, a fact children will find thrilling. From the simple narrative (full of telling, sometimes funny asides and meticulously observed details) emerges an evocative story with larger implications about caring for wildlife. Warmly recommended.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1996
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orchard