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Good Night, Bat! Good Morning, Squirrel! Hardcover – September 13, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Bat has lost his home. He politely states his dilemma while asking different animals if he can live with them—without success. That is, until he finally finds a perfect place in Squirrel's leafy house—unbeknownst to his host, who is still asleep when Bat arrives. When Squirrel wakes to find her unwelcome houseguest sleeping on a twig, she is not pleased. She asks him to leave in no uncertain terms. But as Bat is fast asleep, she decides to leave him a note "to be on the safe side." Squirrel's angry note orders the interloper to "bug off!," which Bat misinterprets to mean that Squirrel doesn't like bugs on her bed. Bat happily complies and piles his bugs in a corner, off Squirrel's bed, even leaving Squirrel a polite reply: "Sorry about the bugs! See you later! Bat." When Squirrel returns home to find her unwanted guest is still there, she is enraged and writes an even angrier note to Bat. A slew of hilarious mishaps and misunderstandings ensue. Readers will delight in guessing how sweet, clueless Bat will misread Squirrel's grumpy missives. However, the very last note will leave readers saying "Awww." The illustrations perfectly convey the feelings of Bat and Squirrel and reflect and enhance the overall tone of the story. This is an uplifting, giggle-inducing, winning read-aloud, ideal for any storytime. VERDICT A fresh, funny, sweet offering in which friendship triumphs despite obvious outward differences. A must-have for any library.—Megan Kilgallen, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, NY
"Homeless Bat moves in, unannounced, with Squirrel. Can this odd couple live together in peace? Meisel's plot moves in appealing increments, stressing the importance not only of friendship, but also of courtesy; the epistolary relationship is an added bonus. His rich palette and expressively drawn animals add warmth to an important message. Odd-couple stories are far from an endangered species, but this one's worth making room for." Booklist
"Tone can be a tricky thing in written communication, as anyone who has sent an email a little too hastily knows. The same is apparently true of notes written on leaves and mushroom caps, something that Squirrel discovers as she tries to get her unexpected new housemate, Bat, to vacate her tree nest . Meisel’s (Run for Your Life!) digitally colored crayon and charcoal cartoons keep the mood light a drily funny portrait of the rewards of opening oneself up to new opportunities and friendships." Publishers Weekly
Top customer reviews
Paul Meisel's latest picture book features an exchange of notes between two unlikely roommates. Bat has lost his home, and after a lot of searching, finds what he thinks is the perfect new place. Unfortunately, when Squirrel wakes up to find her nest has been moved into, she is not happy. Squirrel tries leaving notes, but Bat doesn't seem to get the message. When she says, "LEAVE MY HOUSE," Bat just adds more leaves to the nest. Will they ever be able to work things out?
While Bat is not as clueless as Amelia Bedelia, he does seem to misunderstand each note. This could be the perfect book to introduce the topic of clear communication and how word choice can affect how a message is perceived. It might also be a good segue into multiple meaning words and how context helps us determine which meaning is intended.
Aside from the vocabulary possibilities, this is also an excellent story for showing that friends don't have to be exactly like each other. These two roommates are opposites in some ways. One is nocturnal, flies, hangs upside down to sleep, and eats bugs. The other sleeps at night, eats nuts, and runs about on four legs. But what they have in common, and the things they choose to share with each other, are more important than their differences.
Whether you need a language arts text, a story about making friends, or just want to enjoy a humorous picture book, you won't go wrong choosing this one.
I received a copy from the publisher for review purposes.