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Amara and the Bats

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Environmental activism gets a nocturnal twist in this utterly charming picture book about a young girl and her mission to save the bats!

Amara loves bats! Her favorite thing to do is to collect bat facts and watch the amazing mammals fly at night by her house. But when Amara moves to a new town, she learns that her beloved bats no longer roost nearby because so many trees are being cut down.

Amara is upset. What can she do to help? She’s just one person, and the problem feels so much bigger than her. But after doing some research, she discovers that there are many young people making big changes all around the world. Inspired to take action, Amara gathers her new friends to help save the bats. Together, she knows they can make a difference!

Emma Reynolds crafts an inspiring story about community action, perseverance, and what to do in the face of climate anxiety. At its heart, this is a story about hope and finding a place to call home.

48 pages, Hardcover

Published July 20, 2021

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About the author

Emma Reynolds

3 books13 followers
Emma Reynolds is an illustrator and author based in Manchester, UK.

Her debut author-illustrator picture book Amara and the Bats is out now with Atheneum - Simon & Schuster. When Amara moves to a new town, she discovers that her beloved bats no longer live nearby because they've lost so much of their habitat. Inspired to take action, Amara gathers her new friends to help save the bats!

Passionate about storytelling and creating unique characters, Emma is also the illustrator of Rescuing Mrs. Birdley written by Aaron Reynolds, published by Simon & Schuster.

Emma also started the #KidLit4Climate illustrated campaign, bringing together thousands of children's illustrators and authors from over 50 countries in solidarity with the youth climate strikes.

Emma's favourite food is pizza. She is inspired by nature, animals, adventure, and seeing the magic in the everyday. She loves bats, cats and bears, walking in the wild and exploring the world.

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5 stars
169 (47%)
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144 (40%)
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41 (11%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 72 reviews
Profile Image for Lisa Yee Swope.
261 reviews8 followers
February 8, 2021
Everybody geeks something, and for Amara it's bats. But with her move, although her parents assure her that bats are in all different areas, the local park has none. I love that Amara is not only inspired by actual child activists who changed the world, but she took action herself and rallied her friends to join her in making the park more bat-friendly. A great storyline to encourage kids to dig deep into a hobby or interest and to spark interest in others by your own passion.
Profile Image for Lily Williams.
Author 16 books116 followers
January 21, 2021
The raw enthusiasm kids have for subjects is always so inspiring! Amara embodies this throughout AMARA AND THE BATS as we get to follow her learning about bats and becoming SO enthusiastic about them that she hangs by her legs and shares her bat facts. When she moves, she rallies her friends and community to save their local bat population!

This book pairs perfectly with other climate-change and activist books on the market, but with a more direct story of showing kids examples of how they can make a difference at home.

I strongly recommend this book to be paired with others to show kids how, if they're excited and passionate about something, they can make a difference in their communities. Amara is a great example for kids to find themselves in, as they look at bigger examples (mentioned in the book) of great kid activists making waves across the world.

I'm excited for kids to read this and feel like they have strength and power in this world.

*review of an advanced readers copy
Profile Image for Zoë.
2 reviews8 followers
November 20, 2021
I may be an adult, but this picture book is the one gift I really, really wanted for my birthday this year. I've loved bats since I was six years old, so when I first saw a preview on the author/illustrator's Instagram of Amara with her wall full of bat pictures, I knew I would absolutely love this girl and her story.

The final product held up to my (very high) hopes. I related strongly to Amara, not only in how she shows her love of bats, but also how she finds ways to make a new place feel like home. The story and expressive illustrations made me tear up—in a good way. It's hard not to feel Amara's joy, sadness, hope, and awe right along with her. To top it all off, the whole thing is gorgeous, especially the night scenes.

I highly recommend Amara and the Bats to animal lovers, those who have moved to a new place, and anyone who's ever had an intense interest in a topic most people don't think about.
Profile Image for Andrew.
319 reviews6 followers
July 27, 2021
A beautiful and inspiring picture book. The art is wonderful, and the story really affected me. The inspirational message and story of the children rallying around the cause to save the bats brought tears to me eyes. I can't wait to read this to my son when he's a bit older! Truly heartwarming and highly recommended!
Profile Image for Amanda Brooke.
892 reviews5 followers
October 16, 2022
Nominated for the 2023 Washington State Children's Choice Picture Book award, I am excited to share this book with my students. I love how the main character is a person of color, has a single parent and the has friends who are differently-abled - all minor features that live large in the minds of children who seek to identify with what they read. The book also features actual children who have worked to make a difference. This may seem superficial as an activity, but I think I will give the students cardboard and paper to make their own tiny activist signs. We will definitely collect bat facts and dispel bat myths. Some students may choose to make a fact notebook like the one Amara carries in the story.
Next week our students will celebrate a day of service and this book was a great lead into service activities. While they waited to check out, many of them opted to make their own bat notebooks and some chose the challenge to color printed bats with every color except brown. I recommended using every color in the crayon box, but many of them were satisfied by using opposite colors. I was impressed by how many students knew which colors were opposite.
Profile Image for Baby Bookworm.
1,609 reviews90 followers
August 28, 2021
https://thebabybookwormblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/26/amara-and-the-bats-emma-reynolds/

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is Amara and the Bats by Emma Reynolds, a wonderful tale of one girl’s efforts to save her under-appreciated favorite animal.

Since a close-encounter as a little girl, Amara has loved bats – their fluffy faces and beady eyes are adorable to her, and she loves learning about their habits, biology, and special abilities. Her mom and older brother Samir are happy to hear the encyclopedic collection of bat facts she has memorized, and when the family moves to a new town, they take Amara out to look for the local bats first thing. But, to Amara’s disappointment, there are no bats in the area; a park ranger explains that development has destroyed the bat habitats in the area. Amara is broken-hearted at first, but after taking inspiration from other young environmental activists, she decides to start a campaign to build a bat reserve. It takes a lot of work, but Amara has friends and determination on her side – but will her efforts bring back the bats?

Marvelous. Bats are often-misunderstood creatures whose populations – and important place in ecosystems – have been increasingly threatened, especially in urban and suburban areas. This lovely tale of conservation, activism, and appreciation for nature does a wonderful job of showing the importance of bats, as well as telling a compelling story of one girl’s fight for a cause she believes in, and the community she builds by doing so. Charming and emotive illustrations feature lovable and diverse characters, plus some adorable bats. Well-crafted and informative backmatter teaches more about bats and their conservation in an entertaining style, and while the length may be stretching it for very young bookworms, JJ was riveted. This one is a delight, and we absolutely recommend it – it may even turn you into a bat-lover too. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Be sure to check out The Baby Bookworm for more reviews!
16 reviews
October 25, 2021
Not only is this story about environmental sustainability and community action, it is about the power young people have to create change. It's chock full of bat facts - I found myself exclaiming, "I didn't know that!" as I read and super cute illustrations. ⁠

I also love that it's about BATS. Though in popular culture they're often demonized and misunderstood and portrayed as creepy (hello, Halloween!), they are cute and play a vital role in the ecosystem! They're right up my daughter's alley - cute and kind of weird and seemingly villainous but actually very helpful. It's just the kind of thing she likes! So, she loves this book. She never lets me read the backmatter in any book (not even in the ones I've written) and she asks me to read the backmatter in this one!⁠
Profile Image for Andrew.
1,441 reviews78 followers
April 4, 2021
Ever since her family discovered a bat trapped in their attic, Amara has been in love with all things bats! Thankfully, there are bats all over the world, so she's not too worried about their move to a new place. Unfortunately, the local park ranger in their new neighborhood hasn't seen any in awhile-- lately there's been less forest and more construction. Amara wants to help make the park habitable for her favorite critters, but what can one girl do? It turns out, she can do a whole lot! Between spreading awareness at school and volunteering to help restore the wildlife, Amara's favorite winged-wonders are well on their way back to town. Amara and the Bats is adorable, inspirational, and full of fantastic ideas and ways for readers to help their environment, too!
Profile Image for Cheriee Weichel.
2,400 reviews33 followers
December 12, 2021
Amara loves bats. You might even say she is obsessed by them. Then her family moved from their bat friendly environment to a new community. Amara discovers that there are no bats around, not even in the local park. After reading about other young activists who are making a difference in the world, Amara comes up with a plan. She inspires her classmates so they work together to raise money for bat homes and the community rehabilitates the park to provide a bat friendly environment.
I like that this book is loaded with bat facts. I love all the diversity in the characters in the book. I appreciate the naming of the other activists.
The front endpapers have diagrams of 18 different kinds of bats. The back matter is full of more bat facts explaining why they are a keystone species, things you can do to help them, and information about setting up bat houses.
491 reviews1 follower
October 26, 2021
Loved it. The ending actually gave me goosebumps. The amount of text on each page felt just just for the target audience. This book has a plot while also being informative and empowering. I enjoyed the representation and diversity in the illustrations too; for example, people of all ages are shown holding up signs, including characters with wrinkles on their faces and gray hair or a cane, another participant wears a hijab, it seems Amara is being raised by a single mom, and a classmate of Amara's, Lucy, is seen using a wheel chair. I highly recommend this book. Perfect read year-around.
11 reviews
November 15, 2021
What a lovely story about perseverance and community action! It conveys a lot of information about bats in an engaging way, and makes for a good read aloud. We also loved the colourful and diverse illustrations. I have a feeling Emma’s story will open many people's minds to this misjudged creature! Highly recommend you give this book a read.
Profile Image for Dina.
487 reviews
September 25, 2022
So much to like in this book! Another win for my public library in selecting it for their collection! What I like about this book: The back matter contains useful bat websites, myth busting, how you can help bats, bat facts, how echolocation works and more! The theme of how one kid can make difference and a plot leading to Amara, her family, and classmates to her creating a "bat-friendly sanctuary" which leads to the bats making a new home in the park. Two thumbs for this book!
Profile Image for Lenny.
Author 24 books40 followers
July 24, 2021
"Amara and the Bats" is a picture book with so much knowledge and love. I really love how the book can be so informative without being boring. The illustration is so vibrant and lovely. I love love this book!
Profile Image for Paul Schofield.
Author 4 books1 follower
July 19, 2021
Absolutely loved this book - the illustrations are beautiful, and the story is well-written and emotional! Not only that but there's some really fun bat facts and tips for helping bats as well, which is really positive to see.

My 3 year old loves it too :D
Profile Image for Hannah Gold.
Author 3 books160 followers
Read
April 7, 2021
A wonderfully inspiring and inclusive picture book about the difference one girl can make. Packed with beautiful illustrations and lots of facts about bats and direct information on how children can take action and feel more empowered.
Profile Image for BiblioBeruthiel.
1,891 reviews15 followers
August 4, 2021
Oh wow! I really loved this one! Such a great environmental message without feeling preachy. Excellent bat facts!
Profile Image for Caroline Kusin Pritchard.
10 reviews1 follower
May 10, 2021
I absolutely loveeee this book! It does a beautiful job showing the full process of a child identifying a problem, feeling inspired to get involved, engaging their community, advocating specific solutions and ultimately making a different! I love the diverse cast of characters, including shout outs to youth environmental activists. I love the nonfiction elements woven into an engaging, accessible story. The back matter is loaded with cool bat info and ways for kids to get involved.
Profile Image for Emmeline Pidgen.
Author 16 books50 followers
August 26, 2021
Amara and the Bats is a beautiful and heart-warming story that celebrates a passion for nature, community, friendship, and the power that even one person can have to make incredible change. The illustrations are beautiful and full of character. I loved the informative end papers and bat facts too! It was so inspiring and I can't wait to see more from Emma Reynolds!
Profile Image for Laura.
209 reviews12 followers
December 2, 2021
So cute! Adorable illustrations combined with a great story about making a difference and being an active citizen scientist and advocate for nature. The bat facts at the end make this a stellar crossover from storytime to classroom projects. Pair it with Stellaluna, a bat picture book classic, and you have a winning storytime for the early elementary set - plus plenty of jumping-off points for extension activities.
Profile Image for Bethany Harnden.
154 reviews3 followers
December 21, 2021
An important book that uses a fictional story with facts sprinkled throughout to teach kids about the importance of bats. Amara is a passionate little girl of color who loves bats and is adjusting to moving to a new town where she doesn't see them flying around anymore. She works hard with her friends, mom, and local naturalist to organize awareness and petitioning the town to create more bat friendly spaces and housing at the local park. It takes time, but Amara and the community eventually see some success with their efforts. This book champions the efforts of children, fictional and non-fictional, who work for climate change and conservation. More than ever in the wake of deforestation and other destruction of the natural world, we need to work on conserving the dwindling bat population. The backmatter explains more about the different types of bats, why bats are important pollinators and natural insect controllers, and why the common myths people have about bats cause unfounded fears.
Profile Image for Katrina Dreamer.
322 reviews12 followers
October 10, 2021
Excellent book, both because it shows how being passionate about something and sharing it with others can create change, and because it provides a lot of interesting information about bats. Props for inclusion of different races and a disabled child.
Profile Image for Katy Tanis.
Author 4 books8 followers
October 7, 2021
It's easy to feel powerless when it comes to big issues but Amara shows kids that they can make a difference. This book is full of bat information and conservation tips helping to create empathy for these well-deserving but under-appreciated animals.
Profile Image for Sherry.
861 reviews20 followers
January 20, 2022
Oh my goodness this is such a great story to share with kids as an example of how to make a difference in their community and the world. Love Amara’s activism & passion for bats.

The format of this book is well done with the story, pictures, and all of the great facts shared at the end. Nice balance of fiction and non-fiction.
20 reviews1 follower
November 20, 2022
I LOVE EMMA REYNOLDS!
This is legit a love letter to her so if you do not want to read my praise and admiration, feel free to skip a few paragraphs.

Emma has created such an important book.
For Bats. For Children. For Inclusion. For Change.

This book is informative.
This book is educational.
This book is inspirational.
This book is beautiful.

Firstly, having a book that features a female child of colour as your lead? YES.
Having all bodies represented? HECK YES!
Centering the book around children for change? YES YES YES!

Honestly the bat sketches on the end papers? STUNNING.
It’s taking everything in my bank account to not order this in a wallpaper roll and plaster it up everywhere.

The illustrations just feel *warm*. The colour palette, the style, the layout? GORGEOUS.

The entire narrative journey of introduction to bats, through curiosity/ obsession/ advocacy and then success, is just nourishing soul food in these trying times.

There is a certain magic to seeing the world through a child’s eyes and how simple things really are.
We are all capable of so much more, we just need to start.
I adore the fact that the book comes with a helpful ‘Start your Bat Adventure’ leaflet listing all of the ways that we can get involved and help bats. It’s such a great follow on extension activity/ call to action.

I can honestly say after reading and sharing this story you have absolutely made the world a little bit better, because I have signed myself up with my local bat group, I have donated to The Bat Charities and I am looking at becoming an ambassador!

I cannot wait to get the next generation of spooky activists involved too!

THANK YOU EMMA!
Profile Image for Hilda Burgos.
Author 4 books23 followers
May 1, 2021
An entertaining story with a charming main character and lovely illustrations. It is also full of fascinating bat facts--check out the wonderful back matter too!
Profile Image for Barbara.
12.9k reviews265 followers
October 3, 2021
This delightfully unique picture book is a 3.5 for me. Readers will realize right away that this picture book is a little bit different from the norm since even the front endpapers contain sketches of 18 different types of bats. Ever since a bat became trapped in her family's attic, Amara has been fascinated by the nocturnal creatures. She learns as much as she possibly can about them, and loves sharing tidbits of information with her mother and brother. Together, they enjoy watching bats fly through the sky near their home. But after they move to a new place and learn that there have been no bats in the nearby park for years, Amara is depressed and worried that there is nothing she can do to bring them back. After reading a magazine piece about youngsters like her making a difference in the world, she decides to share her concerns with her new classmates. They rally around her and begin fundraising and consciousness raising to build a nature reserve in the park with houses for the bats. It takes time to put all the changes in place so that the area is more welcoming for bats, but eventually, they do return. Back matter includes information about bats, myths about them, suggestions about how to help bats, and website resources. The digital illustrations show Amara as an empowered youngster, full of life and hope and ready to tackle hard things in order to help the creatures that she loves. Her passion for bats will touch readers just as it resonated with her animal-loving classmates. Perhaps the book makes these changes seem easier than they will be, but it certainly should inspire others to make the changes they want to see in the world--and that's a very good thing.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 72 reviews

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