Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story by Anna Forrester illustrated by Susan Detwiler
Jojo prepares a campfire, waiting for the rest of the family to come out for their loving evening ritual to watch and count the bats that emerge from their barn. Years ago, there were many bats, but the population has dwindled due to disease, and the family participates in 'citizen science,' counting and reporting the bat population numbers. Drama is introduced into the story since they are down to a single maternal bat, and they hope that they will see her with a baby, signaling growth in the population again. The family relationship is warm and the story is well-told, making this a good tie-in for STEM programs, and older storytime groups.
Themes/topics: nature, bats, science, STEM
Sample text from opening spread--this is a longer story.
The sun is dropping behind the ridge and the red-winged blackbirds have quit their squalling, so I know it's almost time. Mom and Dad wash the dishes while I gather twigs. When my hands are full, I carry them down to the fire pit and pile them into a little teepee. I'm allowed to build fires on my own. "You know the way, Jojo," Mom says, "just keep and eye on our baby boys!"