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A detailed chronology of developmental milestones drives this life study of bats, including their habitats, physical features, and conservation measures taken to protect these flying mammals.
Part of the Spotlight on Nature series
"Organized chronologically, these in-depth animal profiles cover life stages from birth through adulthood. Clear prose describes animal development, weaving in statistics and key facts about habitat, family structures, physical characteristics, and behaviors. A related “Meet the Family” section narrates the progress of specific species, interwoven with the main text that covers the broader animal group. A timeline at the page bottom tracks the animal’s age. Photographs highlight key data, often expanded with highly effective “close up” features. The complexities of the koala’s “paws and claws,” for example, are shown perfectly with eye-catching images and explanatory text (Koala). Occasional full-page photos feature fun, oversized captions that add to the visual appeal. Closing pages look at the animal’s status in the wild and current conservation efforts. VERDICT First-rate animal portraits for middle grade students." School Library Journal, November 2021 "The sheer variety that exists among nature and its inhabitants is on full display in the "Spotlight on Nature" series (8 titles), which follows different animals through their life cycles. Featuring striking photographs and with material pleasingly laid out against crisp white backgrounds, these oversized volumes open with the birth of an animal, outline the challenges they face growing up, and explore their habitats and abilities. While Dolphin discusses several of the species in this marine family, including orcas and river dolphins, it focuses primarily on Atlantic spotted dolphins and the ways in which they communicate. The volumes that feature multiple species (Dolphin and Eagle especially) could have benefited from labels on their images, but the information in each is strong and presented clearly and accessibly. Each book contains a “featured family,” and the text is interspersed with anecdotes, while a time line of growth milestones runs along the bottom. Clear and concise." -Maggie Reagan, Booklist, January 2020
"There are numerous series about animals, but few provide as extensive coverage as Spotlight on Nature. Each title considers an individual species and includes detailed reporting on life cycles, physical characteristics, and conservation status. Although these tides have only 32 pages, they go far beyond the scope of picture books, featuring lengthy paragraphs, sophisticated language, and technical vocabulary (with glossaries). There are plenty of graphics, including sidebars, time lines, eye-catching photos, and highlighted factoids. In Alligator, readers learn that, as adults, these reptiles can lunge straight up into the air seven or eight feet, as confirmed by a thrilling action shot. Bat looks beyond the common reddish-brown and black varieties to include an unusual species from Honduras that is pure white, as proven by two adorable close-ups. The towering subjects of Giraffe are shown acting as sentinels at water holes, while the text offers fascinating facts, such as how these gentle giants never sleep more than five minutes at a time. In Koala, a male is pictured using his extra set of vocal cords to produce belches that can be heard up to a half-mile away. In addition to the glossary, back matter includes recommended books, websites, and documentaries, plus lists of zoos, preserves, and sanctuaries. The thorough coverage and compelling photography is sure to please researchers and animal lovers alike." -Kathleen McBroom, Booklist, January 2022