Scaredy Bat

Jonathan Meres

Illustrated by Anders Frang

Swooping onto bookshelves this very day is the story of a super-sweet little bat and his struggle to conquer his fear of the light. Teased by his two older siblings, he finds the to courage to leave the hollow, venturing out into the Dark, Dark Wood and proving to himself that maybe he’s not a Scaredy Bat after all.

Told in wonderfully lyrically rhyming prose, there’s plenty of places for audience participation – you show me a youngster that doesn’t like a big BOO! in a book! The repeated refrain ‘Scaredy Bat, Scardey Bat, ner ner ner ner ner!’ will delight young readers with it’s hint of mischieviousness, yet we realise the teasing two-some are actually the ones who are scared of the light! There’s opportunities to add actions as we hurry and scurry, swoop,whoop and loop-the-loop. The gorgeous illustrations just speak for themselves.

My two (Big S & Little S) are 8 and 6 years old and still very much love a picture book. I loved seeing them physically turn the book around to read Scaredy’s upside down speech bubbles. Big S said; ‘I like Scaredy Bat because he is resilient. He doesn’t think he can do it (go out in the light) but he faces his fears.’

It quickly became very clear that this Little Bat had made a big impression on them and after only a few readings, they held Scaredy in high regard, alongside some very well-known household names.

When asked if Scaredy Bat reminded them of any other favourite books. Big S straightaway said Owl Babies; ‘because there are 3 brothers and sisters, a small one, a middle sized one and a big one and they all live in a tree. The middle sized one and the big one get worried about Scaredy Bat when he leaves the tree and they are waiting for him to come back.’

Little S was sold as soon as she spotted that Scaredy Bat has a fluffy white rabbit to cuddle just like her! She said the Dark, Dark Wood is like in The Gruffalo and Scaredy Bat’s shadow (The Bogey Bat) is a bit like the Big Bad Mouse.

I can’t wait to take Scaredy Bat into school and introduce him to my Reception class, in fact I’m adding him to my Medium Term planning as we speak! The fabulous forest setting will make a fantastic text for Autumn and Scaredy has provided me with another nocturnal animal protagonist for when we study day and night. Young children are often scared of the dark so I know they will empathise with Scaredy Bat.

Scaredy Bat looks set be a book that gets asked for over and over in my classroom and I’m so glad I was introduced to this terrific little tale.

With thanks to Little Door Books for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

Scaredy Bat is published by LittleDoor books and is out today!

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