April 17, 2018

Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night

Written by Rob Laidlaw
Pajama Press
48 pp.
Ages 8-12
March 2018

Today is Bat Appreciation Day and Rob Laidlaw's newest children's non-fiction book about protecting animals and animal welfare is THE book that needs to be read today and forever.  Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night takes the story of bats from tragic ecological stories to empowering children to become global citizens in helping protect this oft-misunderstood animal.
From Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night by Rob Laidlaw
Rob Laidlaw, biologist, animal activist and award-winning author (including of No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs, Pajama Press, 2011 and Cat Champions: Caring for our Feline Friends, Pajama Press, 2013), may be advocating for bats, but he knows the best way to do so is to educate young readers about these animals and dispel erroneous misconceptions first.  So, he weaves the book's information about types of bats, their biology, habitats, food, predators, and the numerous challenges to their survival with a look at those who champion their needs.
From Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night by Rob Laidlaw
Rob Laidlaw introduces young people whom he refers to as Bat Citizens who tirelessly advocate for, research on, and provide for bats around the world.  There's Christian Spaur in Ohio who championed the installation of bat boxes, and Sarah Corton who has been surveying bats for the dangerous white-nose syndrome and creating lesson plans for teachers.  And there's four- and five-year old brother and sister who raised money for the Organization for Bat Conservation by selling hot chocolate.  These young people are doing more than their share to help.  To that same end, Rob Laidlaw discusses various bat challenges, like white-nose syndrome, disappearing habitat, and human activity, but provides solutions to all, including directing readers how they can help.
From Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night by Rob Laidlaw

 The book is well-organized and colourful with numerous photographs on every page.  Throughout the book, there are information boxes about "Bat Facts", suggestions of ways to help out in "Batty Ideas" and a comprehensive glossary.  The detailed table of contents and index just top off the impressive organization of Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night, making it a strong non-fiction selection for young readers and animal advocates everywhere. And did I mention the cool poster on the reverse of the dust jacket?

I may be reviewing Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night today because of the day's designation but this title is sure to be saved and read and referred to beyond April 17 because it is more than an encyclopedia about bats.  It is a book about being a citizen of the animal world, our world, and about celebrating young people who already understand that and have stepped up to defend those whose world we share.

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