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Stellaluna Hardcover – April 30, 1993


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 550L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 46 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (April 30, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152802177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152802172
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 10.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Janell Cannon's picture books have won many awards and are beloved around the world. Before she became a full-time creator of books for children, she designed and produced summer reading programs at her local public library. Born and raised in Minnesota, Ms. Cannon now lives in Southern California.

Customer Reviews

Sweet stories and beautiful illustrations!
tcase3
Our daughter loves to have this precious book read to her.
Kimberly K.
This is one of my favorite books to read to my class.
teachgarvey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus VINE VOICE on August 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If I HAD to answer the question: What is your favorite children's book?, I would have to pick "Stellaluna." There, this children's librarian committed, but I think my students would know that. It's one of their favorites, too!!

What makes this book so special? E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!! The story line, the embedded lessons, and the sweet, sweet illustrations. I don't know how well you can see the young bat's face on the cover. If you can, notice that darling tongue sticking out, like a puppy's. Notice her struggle, expressed with joy, to hold on to the limb. And we have not even opened the book yet!

This is the story of a young bat who is separated from her mother after an owl attacks them in flight. She falls into a tree, then into a bird's nest filled with three hungry babies who are already fully feathered. The mother bird adopts her but insists she eat bugs like her babies. Stellaluna is a fruit bat, but adopts the ways of birds, except for hanging by her feet to sleep. Her new siblings try it one day. Mother returns and expresses her dismay. The babies are hilariously portrayed with their bird feathers hanging down from their heads.

When they learn to fly, poor Stellaluna is so clumsy trying to land upright on a limb with feet equipped for hanging, not perching. At night her bat radar comes into play and she goes weird on them flying by radar. Eventually, her bat mother finds her and Stella's world is restored. She discovers she eats mangoes, not bugs. She is delighted!

And the second best part is that she remains friends with her bird friends.

Embedded lessons:
1. Bats are what they are; birds are what they are.
2. We can accept each other's differences and be enriched by the experience.
3.
Read more ›
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Pajamazon VINE VOICE on September 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My boys love this book! They loved it so much I bought the CD-ROM book as well. And the plush bat! They enjoy hanging Stellaluna upside down while reading the story.
The story itself is a little scary when the owl appears and Stellaluna is separated from her mother in the dark forest. But the mother bird and her babies are quick to accept and help Stellaluna. The story emphasizes that differences should be celebrated and accepted, and it's always best to just be yourself. It also shines a positive spotlight on an animal that gets a bad rap--the bat. I'd rate this book better than Cannon's other book, which is about snakes, "Verdi."
The artwork is beautiful; I love simply looking at the pages. And the "Bat Notes" section at the end is informative; I know because my pre-reading child wanted me to read it out loud several times!
Lovers of nature, superb artwork, and literature will not be disappointed reading this story to their little ones.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alan R. Holyoak on September 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is about Stellaluna, a baby bat who finds itselflost, hungry, alone, and accidentally in a nest full of baby birds. The little bat is accepted by the birds, but somehow never feels at home, especially after a good scolding from the mother bird about hanging upside down -- hillarious.
The artwork is outstanding, the story is entertaining, and children and adults love this book. I have even picked it up and read it a time or two after the children went to bed.
This is an award winning book, and for good reason. There are strong underlying messages in it about place, acceptance, home and family.
Definitely 5+ stars...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Stellaluna" is the creation of Janell Cannon, who has for years helped educate children on animals, and dispel myths about animals that are not as cute and cuddly as pets. Stellaluna is a baby fruit bat who is knocked from her mother's grasp in a fight with an owl; she finds herself in the nest of an accommodating bird and is raised with three of her chicks. The book deals with recognizing and appreciating differences in others, respecting rules of the house, and concepts of love and friendship.

The book is well written and gorgeously illustrated: kids will love it, and adults will be stunned by the quality of the artwork. Throughout it all, the messages of the importance of respect and friendship are paramount. The book deals especially well with the need to "fit in" felt by most children at some point, and pointedly deals with clumsiness and physical differences. The last two pages of the book are devoted to scientific facts on bats, and are both interesting and informative. I thought it was great that Cannon taught young readers about Stellaluna (she's a fruit bat, or megachiroptera, and as such is a relatively large bat,) which makes reading the book not only a fun experience with important life lessons, but also a factual source of information for young inquiring minds.

"Stellaluna" is everything you could want in a children's book, and I recommend it to parents, teachers, and (of course) children everywhere.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am a teacher in Scottsdale, Arizona. This book is such a powerful tool in teaching children about accepting people for who they are, especially our friends. This simple story of a bat is one children can enjoy and understand.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In my opinion "Stellaluna" (a children's story book published for children between 4-7) is an extremly well written children's story book.
When a mother fruit bat is attacked by an owl, her baby bat
falls. Between branches and trees, twigs, thorns and vines; falls the dear Stellaluna.
This book is about survival of the battiest. Cannon describes with great detail and emotion. When I first read this book, I didn't think there was a moral. I was to engrossed in the book to bother for menial tasks as paying attention. But, I have finally figured it out. The moral of this story is, "No matter what happens in life, those who you can depend upon the most is your family and friends".
When you read this book I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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