Little Bat in Night School

Clarion. Jun. 2021. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780358269847.
PreS-Gr 2–Lies has an endearing story perfect for the start of the school year. Bats have previously been the featured characters in a number of other titles by Lies (at the beach and the library), but the focus of this title is on Little Bat and his excitement to meet other bats and start Night School. When he arrives in class, he is welcomed by his raccoon teacher but he is excluded from play by the other bats, and retreats to cubbies to hide. In the cubbies he meets shy Ophelia, a young possum, and together they bravely join the class of other nocturnal animals and quickly settle into familiar routines and activities of the school “day.” Young children will enjoy the similarities between their school experiences and Little Bat’s and will laugh as Little Bat and his friends engage in imaginative play and form a classroom community. The illustrations are full of emotion and detail without being overwhelming. This will make a wonderful start of the year story to share to discuss inclusion, having a growth mindset, and making new friends.
VERDICT Warm and engaging illustrations and a charming main character make this a winning and comforting title for a new school year audience.

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