Sunday, April 8, 2012

Going batty.

Why should we care about bats? Other than the sheer coolness of a flying mammal--species of which are found on every continent except Antarctica--we should care about bats because they are important to ecosystems the world over. Did you know that bats not only eat insects but that they help to pollinate flowers, spread seeds, and help scientists study ways to help humans? It’s true! All these facts and more are detailed in The Bat Scientists, by Mary Kay Carson. The photographs by Tom Uhlman are stunning, the diagrams clear.

Ms Carson focuses primarily on the bats of North America, but also covers the mission of Bat Conservation International, an organization dedicated to studying bats all over the world and finding ways to help them survive the limitations of diminishing habitat and the threat of disease.

It is rare that I have qualms about the editing of a non-fiction book, but this one made me a little crazy. It is, in most respects, well-written and full of information which was previously unknown to me. However, Ms Carson tends to repeat herself in ways which a good editor should have corrected. I strongly suspect I am being nit-picky, and that most kids will not even notice.

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