Quite a Few Nature Books for Kids, or Spying at the New York Botanical Garden
Some Best-Kids-Books Lists to Read

The Bat Scientists


They are certainly not cute,


but they're important.

The Bat Scientists, a Scientists in the Field book by Mary Kay Carson, makes a good case.

"'We can't just help the most popular animals and save ecosystems,'explains Merlin [Tuttle, founder of Bat Conservation International]. Bats play an important role in so many ecosystems. They eat insects, pollinate plants, and spread seeds. Whether you like bats or not, the plants and animals of many ecosystems depend on them."

The Bat Scientists, with photography by Carson's husband, Tom Uhlman, is a Cybils middle grade/YA nonfiction nominee. Children aged ten or so and older are the target audience for the popular Scientists in the Field series, but grown-ups will find plenty to like, too.

Note: The bat photograph is not in the book, but from Wikimedia Commons. Taken by Mnolf, "Whiskered Bat (Myotis mysticinus)" appears here under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Book details:

The Bat Scientists
by Mary Kay Carson, with photography by Tom Uhlman
Houghton Mifflin, 2010
80 pages


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Bat in Native American Medicine means "rebirth"; hanging upside down symbolic of the birth process for humans. Our old farmhouse had white shingles and right by the front door I noticed something, and looked under the shingle to find a bat there (yikes). The bat removal people (they don't harm them) told me they had never seen bats choose to hang that low on a house. It was at my eye level, under the shingles by the front door. We moved not long after as life's story unfolded and I am sure the Native American thought on this is so true, we had a rebirth for sure...so bats are more important than we think in a multitude of ways, I think!

Oh, I dunno, I think we could even argue cute, as long as we avoid their needle-y little teeth...!

Elaine and Tanita, I actually enjoy seeing the bats at dusk in the summer as they chase mosquitoes. But, yeah, yikes, those teeth!

I was also glad to read in The Bat Scientists that bats don't really get caught in people's hair; that's a myth. And most bats are not rabid.

Thank you for this post! I found your site while looking for books on Russia to use homeschooling. While we were at the library we grabbed this bat book as well, on your recommendation - and my son loves it!!! He read half of it this morning, and told me all sorts of new facts about bats :) THANK YOU!

So glad you found this book and that your kiddo likes it! My 11 year old read it too. Very informative. And I was happy to learn that some old myths (about bats) I'd heard were not true.

But, oh, bats are cute... I'm writing a book about bats. For children. They are awesome and intriguing animals.

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