The theme of Bitsy Bat, School Star is simple. Bitsy does not fit in at school. But as her father says, why would you want to fit in? Afterall, Bitsy is a special star. Her special brain works differently because she is representing a neurodivergent person. She, like the author, Kaz Windness, is autistic. Of course, they do not come out and say that, but just use the natural senses of a bat to represent the situations an autistic person might encounter. Such as loud noises and light being too loud and bright. Or doing things the “right” way can make you dizzy, or not work out very well (finger painting for a bat has issues to say the least). And how all of that stimulation could lead to becoming upset, and make the child have a very big meltdown.
The way things are presented are relatable and fun. Even funny at times (after all trying to sit on your bottom might work for a rabbit, but for a bat not so much, and the images of the bat family’s house is clever). And Windness shows all this in adorable illustrations that bring to life the seriousness of things with compassion. The colors and details are busy, but not necessarily overwhelming. The afterwards helps explain more situations and actions a neurodivergent person could find themselves in, or how they would react to them. I would say this book works well for most ages, but more for the neurotypical child having to deal with a neurodivergent sibling, classmate, or a family member that they are not around a lot (such as a cousin).
The author’s note is a good introduction to parents, teachers, caregivers, etc. about the subject and the author themselves. This book is currently available, though I did read it via an online reader copy.