Baby bat Stellaluna's life is flitting along right on schedule--until an owl attacks her mother one night, knocking the bewildered batlet out of her mother's loving grasp. The tiny bat is lucky enough to land in a nest of baby birds, but her whole world has just turned upside down. Literally. Stellaluna's adoptive bird mom accepts her into her nest, but only on the condition that Stellaluna will act like a bird, not a bat. Soon Stellaluna has learned to behave like a good bird should--she quits hanging by her feet and starts eating bugs. But when she finally has an opportunity to show her bird siblings what life as a bat is like, all of them are confounded. "How can we be so different and feel so much alike?" one asks. "And how can we feel so different and be so much alike?" asks another. "I agree," Stellaluna responds. "But we're friends. And that's a fact." Anyone who has ever been asked to be someone they're not will understand the conflicts--and possibilities--Stellaluna faces. This gorgeously illustrated
book is sure to be an all-time favorite with readers, whether they've left the nest or not. (Click to see a sample spread
. Illustration from Stellaluna
, © 1993 by Janell Cannon, reproduced by permission of Harcourt Brace & Company) (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter
From Kirkus Reviews
Attacked by an owl, Stellaluna (a fruit bat) is separated from her mother and taken in by a bird and her nestlings. Dutifully, she tries to accommodate--she eats insects, hangs head up, and sleeps at night, as Mama Bird says she must--but once Stellaluna learns to fly, it's a huge relief when her own mother finds her and explains that the behavior that comes naturally is appropriate to her species. With a warm, nicely honed narration, Cannon strikes just the right balance between accurate portrayal of the bats and the fantasy that dramatizes their characteristics. Her illustrations, in luminous acrylics and color pencils, are exquisite. The appealingly furry, wide-eyed, fawn-colored bats have both scientific precision and real character; they're displayed against intense skies or the soft browns and greens of the woodland in spare, beautifully constructed (occasionally even humorous) compositions. Delightful and informative but never didactic: a splendid debut. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.