Sandra Markle, author of more than 36 nonfiction books for children and a former elementary school teacher, brings her expertise to this magnificent exploration of the world of bats. The simple language and easy-to-follow explanations ("Check out the W-shaped back teeth of this insect-eating Nyctalus bat. They're just right for crushing and slicing crunchy insects into a lumpy bug pudding.") make Outside and Inside Bats
a pleasure to read and a fun way to learn about one of the most curious animals in the world. The in-depth descriptions examine everything from the inner workings of a vampire bat's intestines to the structure of a bat's bones. You'll find out why some bats rely on hearing and others on sight and smell, why a bat's wings are different than a bird's, and how baby bats are born. The abundant close-up, full-color photographs and helpful glossary make this an excellent introduction to bats and to biology in general. (Ages 6 to 10)
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6. Markle engages readers as she describes many aspects of bat bodies and compares them to humans: "Bat wings are skin stretched over a hand that bends as freely as your fingers." Beginning with the wings, the author moves on to describe the small creatures' fur and bones, sounds, hearing and echolocation, sense of smell, eating and digestion, use of oxygen, and care of the young. Well-chosen and beautifully executed full-color photographs are integrally connected to the text. Views of bats in flight reveal the bone structure in the translucent wings and demonstrate the use of senses in locating food. A tiny vampire bat feeds at a wound made in the much larger foot of a bird, and there are true-to-life pictures of the internal organs and a color-enhanced photograph of a bat embryo. The slim format limits the amount of information provided. Readers will want to know more about the amazing variety of faces revealed by the many different species that are featured. The eyes and vision receive cursory treatment, and, unaccountably, there's no discussion of bats as nocturnal animals though the black backgrounds of many action photos suggest that flying, hunting, and eating do occur at night. Despite its limitations, the presentation is a lucid and lively introduction that nicely complements several more informative overviews that don't provide these internal views. The final two pages of text include an address for ordering instructions for building bat houses and a list of questions prompting reader reflection on several of the photographs.?Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.