Poetry Friday is hosted today by Jama's Alphabet Soup.
"Quick, call out! Tell all you can reach -- the moon is perfect for bats at the beach!"
This story in verse will have no problem finding an appreciative audience. Lies takes the familiar fun of a day at the beach and turns the experience upside down by imagining bats celebrating a summer's night on an empty beach in the moonlight.
Detailed images highlight the fun as bats young and old engage in a rich variety of experiences as they swoop onto the beach with blankets, moon-tan lotion, and picnic baskets brimming with pickled slugs and salted skeeters. A busy night includes a chance to bury playmates in the sand, create toys out of found objects, fly kites, hold wing-boat races, roast bug mallows, sing and tell stories around a campfire and visit the deserted snack bar for bug treats attracted to a glowing light bulb.
The story carries readers effortlessly thought the night until the rising sun sends the bats winging their way home at sunrise.
I use this book as a read-aloud and it delights students with this twist on human activity and earns its share of laughing groans for the "icky" moments. Young audiences also find plenty of minutiae to identify as they give the illustrations a second and third look to discover the many fine points that Lies brings to his art.