BOOK REVIEWS

The Bat Scientists (Scientists in the Field Series) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-01-14 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 9 user ratings
ISBN:0547199562
LANGUAGE:English

"1. Informational Junior Book
2. The Bat Scientists provides a look into what bats really are by debunking some myths as well as describing real-life examples of what scientists do in their field. The book provides a look into 4 different scientists careers as well as ways one can be active in bat conservation.
3.The best aspect of this book was how well graphics, visual aids, images and maps were incorporated into the information given in the narrative. The author creates a wonderful narrative that follows 4 different scientists. The scientists examine and explain different parts of bats' environment and how some bat species are endangered. An excellent example is how a map of bat locations are introduced to show where bats are located in the United States as the narrative speaks of the bat cave of the of scientists frequents to d bat research.
4. This book could be used to investigate bats further if a novel with bats in them is being read in a literature class or if a science class is learning about mammals. Bats are more significant because most students do not realize that bats are actually mammals like humans.
" said.

"I remember the bat episode from Reading Rainbow. I suppose that episode was all I felt I could want to know about bats. After that I was not afraid of bats, though I was wary of them until I lived in Nauvoo and we had bats who roosted in one of the old smokestack things at the Joseph Smith Academy building. I grew to enjoy watching them come out at night and knew there was nothing to be wary of. But I still didn't feel like there was more I needed or wanted to know of bats, until I read this book.

I had no idea that many bats are endangered. I didn't know much about where they roosted or how much they affect the ecosystem. I now have a much stronger awareness of bats because of this book, learning much more than I could have thought was available (even though there is still so much they don't know about bats!). I also feel like I want to champion these poor little guys, because they are rather cute and they are helpful and harmless to us.

The writing of this book was all right. There was a lot of repetition that started to bother me. Otherwise I think this is a nice choice for a Beehive nominee because it gives kids some great information on not only bats but also the scientists who are trying to help them. Interesting facts that may turn other kids--like me--into bat supporters.
" said.

"Junior Book Log: Literature Circle 5
Recommending Source: Kimmel

This story was all about bats. Everything that you could ever want to know about bats was discussed in this book. There are so many different kinds of bats!!! This book is packed with diagrams and pictures that would knock your socks off. It has a glossary and a section that is full of fun facts. I really enjoyed this book and I think that it would be a wonderful resource for students and teachers to use in the building. In Virginia the students learn about bats in the first grade, I think that the vocabulary and things are definitely too advanced for a first grader to read on their own, but it would be a great book for the teacher to look threw with the students. The pictures in this book are stunning! They look like they are HD quality pictures. They are so zoomed up close to the bats that you can see all their individual little hairs. I thought bats were really creepy before I started to read this book, but they are actually quite cute! We discussed in out literature circle how amazing this whole series of books is and how great they would be to use in the classroom. They would be a great resource if students were ever assigned a research project or were just curious about all the different topics that they are written about. I really enjoyed this story and I can't wait to go and look at what other "Scientist in the Field" books there are out there.
" said.

"Genre: Children’s Book, Informational
Summary: This Scientists in the Field book focuses on bats, which are surprisingly endangered. Mary Kay Carson details the different bats, facts about bats, and shows scientists studying how bats live and how to help them.
Critique: a) One of the great aspects of this book are the colorful photographs and maps which aid in informing the reader of bats.
When children read informative books, many are easily bored by simply stating facts. This book focuses on how to help bats, their homes, and what scientists are doing to study them. To help tell these facts the author includes many pictures and maps. All are colorful and perfectly coordinate with what is going on in the book. Some even help in adding facts. Photos of different types of bats allow the author to include a caption telling about the bat in the photo.
One particular fact that I was interested in was that smaller bats live in North America and some areas surrounding us. Larger bats live in Australia and areas surrounding that continent. A map shows exactly where each type live. This allows for a visual which helps children remember information better.
Curriculum Connection: Teachers can use this book to teach children about bats. Projects on habitats or certain animals can benefit from this book. The teacher can also focus on endangered animals. Children need to realize that animals are being harmed due to environmental changes and humans invading their habitats. Children can be taught how to save these animals. The teacher can use this book to have the children help create a bat house for them to hang outside the school.
" said.

"Book type: informational text
Intended audience: 9 year olds, 5th grade and up

I live in Austin, Texas, which is home to the largest urban Mexican Free Tailed bat population in the United States. I think our brown bats are adorable. I remember them flapping around to collect insects during late-night football games, or the smell of bat guana as I took my canoe under the Congress Avenue bridge, or the stray sick bat on the playground. We took field trips to Natural Bridge Caverns and would see bats there. Every year, we have some educational week devoted to these creatures, since they are so popular with the kids. This book had a lot of great information. For instance, some bats live more than forty years. And there's a chemical in vampire bat spit that breaks up blood clots; scientists used this to treat people who have had strokes. Wow!

Illustrations:
The photographs are very close up and Uhlman really outdid himself. Check out the front cover. They always look to me like they are smiling. The first page has a wonderful shot of the Congress Bridge in Austin (I think), with people and bats together at twilight. It doesn't say where it is, but there are labeled Austin photographs on pages 60 and 61. Do not skip over the photo of the rescued baby red bat on page 29. It's being bottle fed.

Lessons:
--Bats, all 1,100 species
--Geography
--Clarification on the Dracula myth, and other myths about bads (that they are blind or have rabies or get caught in people's hair, etc.

Book Pairings:
--A Place for Frogs, Melisse Stewart and Higgins Bond (tie into multiple kinds and dwindling populations)
--Stellaluna, Janell Cannon
--Bats at the Library, Brian Lies
--Bats, Gail Gibbons
--Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats, Anne Earle (Author) and Henry Cole (Illustrator)

Other:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHYk8v... = bats in Austin video
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_... = information about Mexican Free Tailed Bats
" said.

"The Bat Scientists is basically a cheerleader for bats and a reminder of how important bats are to many ecosystems. Bats have long been misunderstood and mistreated by humans; some of the most common bat myths are that they are disease-carrying, human-biting, flying rodents. In actuality bats do not carry disease at a higher rate than other mammals, they typically avoid humans, and are more closely related to monkeys than rodents. The book follows various bat scientists and details their work, while also including information and interesting facts about bats and all the reasons why they truly do matter. The book is filled with photographs of various bat species, the caves they dwell and hibernate in (hibernacula), other natural and man-made bat habitats, and photos of bat scientists working in the field. Also included are detailed diagrams, many pairing actual photos with added illustration for better understanding of concepts discussed in the book such as ultrasonic echolocation. Admittedly when I picked up this book I was a bit disgusted just by the cover alone, never having been a fan of bats by any means, I was not looking forward to reading this book. Much to my surprise, although I admit bats still creep me out a bit, I definitely have a newfound respect for these creatures and a better understanding of the importance of their survival. Overall, the book did an excellent job of presenting thorough information on the many aspects of bats, their habitats, threats to bats, and the organization Bat Conservation International (BCI) and its efforts. The photographs throughout the book brought the reader up-close and personal with the bats, and more importantly the photos showed the bats in a non-threatening way, this is important since bats have historically been pictured and imagined exactly the opposite. Young readers will really enjoy this book and not only learn a lot about bats but surely appreciate them more after reading it. For those who want to learn more about bats, the author includes a list of resources at the end of the book, included in these resources is information on putting up your own bat house via BCI’s website, readers can do their part by helping bats in their own backyard." said.

"Citation: The Bat Scientists, by Mary Kay Carson. (Houghton Mifflin, 2010). 80p. Informational Text.

Summary: This book seeks to inform the reader about bats and correct misunderstandings about the species. The layout includes sections of text, photographs, diagrams, and maps. It also provides a glossary and suggests books and websites for further research.

Critique: (a.) This book is an excellent example of accurate informational texts. The book is broken into chapters ranging from a beginner’s understanding to information on how to get involved to ensure survival. Each chapter of narrative text includes information about the scientists, often with direct quotes and events. The facts are presented in a straightforward manner, in easily digestible chunks of information, and are woven throughout the narration.

(b.)In reading each section of the text, it is apparent that the author has a good understanding of the facts. The work of scientist Merlin Tuttle and other biologists is sited along with general facts to inform the reader. Websites and text resources are listed in the back of the book to allow the reader to check facts and find out the latest news.

(c.)After dispelling common myths and examining the current movement to provide safe shelter for bats, Chapter Five explains how important it is for scientist to understand the mysteries of the species. Tuttle is quoted as saying, “Bats are the least studied of mammals.” (p.68) This study is important if scientists are to help bats survive. One concern, white-nose syndrome, is explained in depth on pages 68 – 71. This topic is further explained on page 78 “Learn More About Bats,” and four websites are given to provide more information. This is an ongoing issue for North America, considering that this summer, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service awarded thirty grants for work in this area.

Curriculum Connection: I would use this book to model reading a narrative non-fiction text,
emphasizing the sources and facts. This could be done with short excerpts. I would also use it during October to compare fiction and non-fiction texts, since its subject is one that often comes up during this time of year. Additionally, this book is a great source of information for local conservation projects.
" said.

"Carson, Mary Kay. (2010). The Bat Scientists. Photography by Tom Uhlman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 80 pp. ISBN 978-0-547-19956-6 (Hard Cover); $18.99.

When I first moved to Michigan, I was horrified to learn that some of my in-laws regularly killed bats with tennis rackets. Their old historic house has many entrances for creatures as small as bats and their fear and ignorance allowed them to complain about bats in the house while scratching mosquito bites. Some even believed that bats would fly into their hair. Our own first home in Allegan, Michigan entertained a bat or two. We did not smack them with rackets, however. We opened the window or door and our winged friend would fly out within minutes. The Bat Scientists is written for my in-laws and, unfortunately, thousands of people just like them.

As much as I admire and understand bats, however, this book fills me with new respect for bat scientists! I cannot imagine walking in fecal matter filled with beetles that quickly remove all traces of footprints and even gnaw the flesh off the bones of baby Mexican free-tailed bats unfortunate enough to fall into these living guano piles. I haven’t even mentioned the need to clean the mites from my hair that drip like rain inside the dark bat cave. Have I mentioned the humid, one hundred degree temperature or the persistent and dangerous ammonia smell? Carson explores basic bat biology, general facts about natural predators of bats, bat life cycle in nature, myths associated with bats, bat benefits, cave dynamics, and various famous bat locations, such as Bracken Bat Cave (largest colony of bats in the world), Saltpeter Cave, Laurel Cave, and several bat bridges. Bat scientists are desperately trying to understand the cause of White-Nose Syndrome, a fungal disease that may drive several species of bats into extinction. We also learn that wind energy, which is seen as an exceptional green form of energy, is responsible for killing thousands of bats. The blades are not smacking the bats in mid flight. Often the bats have no external injuries. Scientists suspect the spinning blades cause the air pressure to drop too rapidly for the bats’ lungs and their lungs simply explode. This book is part of the FABULOUS Scientists in the Field series and as with all titles in this series the text is informative and conversational. The photography and graphics are excellent. Add this book to any library anywhere in the country for students of any age!
" said.

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