Meredith's Reviews > Rufus: The Bat Who Loved Colors

Rufus by Tomi Ungerer
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's review

it was ok
bookshelves: childrens-picture-books, bats

After Rufus experiences color for the first time, he decides to stay awake during the day.

When a bat named Rufus strays into a drive-in movie theater, he is introduced to the world of color. Intrigued, he decides to stay awake and see the daytime world. His experience of color instantly makes him a daytime convert, and he paints himself multiple colors with a discarded painter's palette.

Unfortunately, the sight of a multicolored bat flying around during the day is a cause for alarm, and people shoot at him. Wounded, he lands in the yard of a famous butterfly collector who nurses him back to health and befriends him. Eventually, Rufus discovers he misses the nighttime world and returns to being nocturnal.

This story is about thinking outside the box with the classic children's moral "it's okay to be different." Rufus decides to do something atypical for his species and discovers he has an aptitude for it, which is gentle encourage for young readers to try new things that catch their interest even if it is considered unusual for their ethnic group/gender/culture/socioeconomic class.

It also defies the assertion that you can't go home again. While it is important to finish what you started, it's equally important not to fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy. If something isn't working out, or if one decides that a course of action simply isn't for him/her, it's foolish to pursue whatever it is to the bitter end. If one doesn't like how one's life is going, then s/he can stop, reevaluate, and change course.

Since this is a picture book marketed to children, I was rather surprised that the bat was shot. Bats are misunderstood creatures that are often discriminated against, but I hadn't expected to find acts of violence against them in a children's story book. The fact that this book was originally published in 1961 isn't sufficient to explain this.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 16, 2019 – Shelved
May 16, 2019 – Shelved as: childrens-picture-books
May 16, 2019 – Finished Reading
May 17, 2019 – Shelved as: bats

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