Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Bats at the library

Bats at the library

Brian Lies
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008   ISBN: 978-0618999231

It is a cool autumn night and the bats have eaten their fill. They have "fluttered, swooped, and soared" and now they are feeling rather "bored." They need something new to do. Then the word gets around that one of the library windows has been left open. The bats are delighted because they can now have a "Bat Night at the library."

And so the bats fly in through the library window. The old timers sail off to peruse the shelves, to enjoy looking at books about moths and other gastronomic delights, and to talk about books they have read. The young bats have no idea what to expect, but they soon find out that a library is a place that is absolutely full of wonderful things to do.

There is a copy machine to play with, a water fountain to splash in, and pop-up books to explore. Best of all there is story time, and before long all the listening bats are so caught up with the tales that they are hearing that they start to see themselves as the characters they are hearing about. Alice, Pooh, Toad, Peter Rabbit and all the others are as real to the listeners as their own friends and family.

In this delightful book Brian Lies brings back the bats who delighted so many in his book Bats on the Beach. This time he has his bats show readers that a library is a place that is full of magic. You don't even need fairy dust, a wand, or spells to make the magic happen. All you have to do is to read.

Beautifully executed full page illustrations will make readers laugh as they see little bats imagining themselves as Pooh, Little Red Riding Hood, the Cheshire Cat, and others. The accompanying rhyming text is not only amusing, but it also captures the author's obvious love for books and libraries – a love he wants to share with his audience.