At an abandoned outdoor movie theater, fifty-five bats perform in a toe-tapping, wing-flapping revue--and await the grand finale.
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Kathi Appelt has written several books for children, including Bayou Lullaby, Hushabye, Baby Blue, and Toddler Two-Step. She lives in Texas, where she was raised, and never tires of riding the range. In Her Own Words...
"Igrew up in Houston, Texas, the oldest of three sisters. In our house on Mayo Avenue, we had a garage with unfinished Sheetrock on the walls. We each had our own section. As soon as we could hold a crayon, we were allowed to express ourselves in any color or form that we wished.
"If you stood back and looked at the wall, it was like a record of my growing up. Down at the bottom was just a lot of scribbling, but as I grew, the drawing took on new and clearer forms. You could tell the drawings that were done when I was happy, as well as the ones that I drew when I was angry. The garage wall was a perfect place for expression. Once I started actually writing, on paper, I no longer needed the wall. But I still think of it as the place where my earliest writing took place. It was like my first journal, a record of my feelings and experiences.
"I still keep a journal. Like the garage wall, it's a place for catching all my thoughts, and sometimes my dreams. It's often the first place that the idea for a new story or poem occurs. Because I don't have any particular rules about writing in my journal, sometimes I'm surprised by what shows up! I also get ideas when I walk. I enjoy taking long leisurely walks. They help me clear my thoughts, but they also give me an opportunity to take a good look at the world around me.
"I like to draw directly from my own life when I write, because that's what I know best and feel most strongly about. Sometimes I write about feelings of joy, as in my book The Thunderherd, which is about horses. I've loved horses since I was very young, and The Thunderherd was an opportunity to express that love. As much as I loved horses, however, I was afraid of bats. Because writing helps me overcome my fears, I decided to write a book about bats; this became Bat Jamboree. Writing that book helped me see bats differently and even to laugh about my fears. Now I appreciate and love bats almost as much as horses.
"I used to think that a real writer had to have lots of exciting, maybe even dangerous, adventures in order to have something meaningful to write about. Now I know that the best writing is about the people, places, pets, and objects that surround us and that we meet every day. I've discovered that writing about them is the absolute best way to really know them and in the process come to know ourselves and our own world a little better. I now know that writing is really a way of seeing. I'd like to encourage you to get out your old journal or start a new one and see what shows up.
"Kathi Appelt lives in College Station, Texas, with her husband, Ken, a schoolteacher, and their two sons, Jacob and Cooper. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she teaches creative writing to both children and adults. She's a frequent visitor in schools and at writing workshops. She is also the regional adviser for the Brazos Valley Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators."From Publishers Weekly:
Woodland and barnyard animals flock to a midsummer Bat Jamboree at an abandoned drive-in theater in this grinningly batty counting book. At the words "the houselights went down," the sun sets and moonlight floods the movie screen. "Then.../ 1 bat sang./ 2 bats flapped./ 3 bats cha-cha-ed./ 4 bats tapped," until 10 teams of talented chiropterans appear. Afterward, the performers count backward to make a pyramid with 10 bats at the bottom, nine on their shoulders and so on. Appelt (Bayou Lullaby) describes the show in bouncy but sometimes forced rhymes: "The time came, at last, for the grand finale: / The Acro-Bats!/ Yes, there were 10 bats in all-e." Her most humorous moment comes when "the bat lady sings." Sweet (A House by the Sea; the Pinky and Rex books) serves up airy watercolors. Her mousy-gray bats have snaggly overbites, wide eyes and colorful vests; their facial expressions vary from apprehensive to thrilled, and the attending bears, moose, sheep and ducks watch appreciatively. There's a nervous energy in these pictures that will almost surely disarm the reader, right off the bat. Ages 3-up.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description William Morrow & Co. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0688138829 . Bookseller Inventory # Z0688138829ZN
Book Description William Morrow & Co, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Melissa Sweet (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0688138829
Book Description William Morrow & Co, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110688138829
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0688138829 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1980863