Hello, Bumblebee Bat
Darrin Lunde, author
Darrin Lunde has worked as a mammalogist at the American Museum of Natural History and at the Smithsonian Institute. His work has brought him into contact with all kinds of animals, big and small, throughout the remote forests of South America, Africa, and Asia where he camped for months at a time to survey species diversity and to discover new species. He is the author of Hello, Bumblebee Bat, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor Book, After the Kill, and other books about animals. He lives in Washington, DC.
Read more about Darrin.
Patricia Wynne, illustrator
Patricia Wynne is a well-known scientific illustrator whose art has been included in many collections and exhibited around the country. Her detailed illustrations have appeared in 90 books, including The Body Book, Tropical Rain Forest, and Hello, Bumblebee Bat, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor Book. Patricia lives in New York City.
Read more about Patricia.
- Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor Book
- Booklist's Notable Children's Book
- Bank Street College of Education's Best Books of the Year
- ALA Notable Children's Book
Framed as simply phrased questions and answers in differently sized type, this interview with the world's smallest bat - at rest, about the size of a quarter, as a life-sized view on the final page attests - will fill in younger naturalists on its looks, diet, enemies ("Bumblebee Bat, what do you fear? 'I am afraid of humans and birds'") and habits. Generally wearing a fixed-looking smile and facing viewers directly, the interviewee flits across twilit, precisely detailed painted scenes, posing next to a bee and a mouse for scale, hunting and chowing down on a moth and then retiring to a sleeping cave with its "brothers and sisters." Rare enough to be officially endangered, these diminutive creatures get at least a mention in most of the general introduction to bats, but they're highlighted here with a distinctive charm that's likely to linger with children.
Meet the inch-long bumblebee bat, the smallest bat species in the world. Each left-hand page poses a question to a little bat, such as, "Bumblebee Bat, how do you see at night?" The bat answers, "I make a squeaky sound that bounces back from whatever it hits. I see by hearing." Beginning each question with the bat's memorable name heightens the pleasing sense of pattern in the text, which offers information that children can understand, but avoids overwhelming them with too many facts. Wynne, who illustrated Carolyn Arnold's Super Swimmers (2007), contributes an appealing set of pictures that complement the text. The large-scale artwork, appearing on right-hand pages, shows the bat flying, feeding, escaping from a predator, entering a cave, and finally sleeping. The bumblebee bat's tiny size is apparent only when it is shown next to a bee or a butterfly. Delicate ink drawings are brightened with watercolors and colored pencils. The last spread offers a little more information about bumblebee bats.