Amara and the Bats by Emma Reynolds has gotten several reviews, promotions and been put in a newsletter for independent stores across the country. Now, I am not one to usually love a book that gets so much hype and praise. And I am also not one who usually agrees with my fellow independent bookstore staff members in my bookstore, let alone across the nation. However, when I found a copy of this picture book in reader copy form, I said, “Give it a shot. Nothing to lose!” And came away from it excited to have read it.
Amara is a young girl who moves with her mother and brother to another country. She has few friends, the language is hard, but she assumed that no matter where she went, she would find bats. As bats, her very favorite critter, are every place. Yet, in her new home, there are no bats. The construction and human involvement have stopped the bats from living and thriving in the area. It is up to Amara and a few new friends, her family, and a lot of patience, to help the bats find a new home as well.
The illustrations, also by Reynolds, are simply charming, sweet, and goofy. They are cartoonlike without being cartoonish. I can see them being front and center of a show/movie for kids. The colors are perfect to fit the mood and look of the book. The details are cozy and not overwhelming.
This book about finding a home, family and conservation is a fun book for most ages. It has humor, seriousness, and a good story with a good message to match.