Book Review: Brian Lies’ Bats in the Library

Posted May 20, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Children's

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Brian Lies’ Bats in the Library

Bats in the Library


Brian Lies

It is part of the Bat Books series and is a picture book that was published by HMH Books for Young Readers on September 8, 2008 and has 32 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Illustrator: Brian Lies
Other books in this series include Bats at the Beach

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Bats at the Beach

Part of the Bat Books picture book series for very young readers and revolving around bats and their families.

In 2009, Bats in the Library won the Indies Choice Book Award for Best New Picture Book.

My Take

Be sure to really look at that first page! I was so absorbed in the old storyteller and the young one reaching for him that it took a bit before I realized we were upside down in the world! It’s so dang cute how often the bats are found hanging upside down. I knowwww, bats usually hang upside down, but not in an anthropomorphic tale of loving books! Wait till you come to the page with the group hanging from the Mackintosh mica lamp!

That page spread with all the parent bats and their children hanging out for storytime as an enthusiastic bat tells the story from a book…that’s upside down! Hey, it’s a view that makes sense to bats, lol.

DO take the time with your young ones to explore each page — they may be dark in color but they each have a welcoming warmth — for all those wonderful details Lies includes. While there is a slightly cartoonish quality to the overall pictures, Lies creates realistic and furry bats, which I appreciate for his holding true the image of a bat while making them cozy critters you almost want to cuddle up with yourself.

Lies has a lively rhyming style that had me bouncing along as I read, as he pulls in references to Camelot, Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland, Ratty and Mole, Peter Rabbit, the Velveteen Rabbit, and more.

It’s a tale of life…as we would know it what with playing tag, their version of playing with the copy machine, story hour, shadow puppets, and being pulled into those story worlds. Although, bats don’t say Goodnight Moon.

That page in which they get “swallowed up and live inside a book” sounds a heck of a lot like me!

The Story

A thoughtless? librarian has left a window open at the library, and the news spreads like wildfire — bat night at the library!

And in they fly, eager to re-read favorites, discover new ones, play games, explore the computer, dive into cookbooks and scientific tomes, and more.

It’s a treat of treats, a visit to the library!

The Characters

Bats young and old.

The Cover and Title

The cover will crack. You. Up. It’s dark. In the library. With one bat pulling on the rope knotted around a green leather-bound hardcover, another bat pushing the book to an angle off the shelf, two bats standing beneath the rope cheering the first two on, another bat cuddling a book bound in red leather with a look of warm happiness on his face, and a colony of bats flying in the background. The title is in a gradation of orange from left to right and angled in the top left corner, while the author/illustrator’s name in in white at the bottom.

The title is a major treat for Bats in the Library, as they explore their favorites, discover new, and fall into more.