Bats at the Beach



Delightful bats' night out for pre-K and up.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the rhyming text of Bats at the Beach adds to the appeal of this funpicture books that has some mildly creepy pictures of insect snacks, such as a marshmallow with insect legs and wings.

Kids say

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What's the story?

On a night when \"the rising moon can grow no fatter,\" bats head out to the beach carrying toys, picnic baskets, and blankets. Through rhyming couplets, the book follows the bats as they put on moon-tan lotion, bury each other in the sand, make new friends, surf, sail, play in the waves, go to the snack bar, and sing around a bonfire. Then they head home before the sun rises.

Is it any good?


Children of all ages will be delighted with this simple and joyous concept: Bats have a perfect night at the beach, doing all the things we do, but with slight variations. They use moon-tan lotion, eat salted skeeters and roast bug-mallows, fly themselves as kites, and when they go out in boats they use their own wings as sails.

While the text is well done, the appeal of the book lies in its artwork. Mostly in borderless two-page spreads, in a nighttime color palette enlivened with touches of moon- and fire-light, these gorgeous pictures entice readers to pore over the funny details and beautiful visions. Best of all are the bats themselves, looking very batlike, but with their faces gently rounded to make them look friendly and appealing. Wonderful for bedtime, this enchanting book is sure to become a nightly favorite.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the ways that the bats' night at the beach is similar to and different from a human day at the beach. What are the bats having at the snack bar? What jokes can you find in the pictures? What is "Bain de Lune?" Does the book make you want to have a day -- or night -- at the beach?

Book details

Author:Brian Lies
Illustrator:Brian Lies
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
Publication date:July 24, 2006
Number of pages:32
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 3 and 5 year old Written bymarceladns March 4, 2011

Bats go to the beach too

Beautifully illustrated along with a funny story. We live very close to the beach and we go often so this book was a must have in our list, what do you know, we love it! we compare our snacks to the snacks the bats bring, and since we go to the library every weekend too we also bought Bats at the Library. The rhyming is a great way to teach the kids new vocabulary and encourage them to add their own twist.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Educator and Parent Written byemabey May 9, 2015

Fun and Beautiful: But has academic use as well!

I agree that this is a wonderful book, but the low beginning age-range in the rating might give the impression that it's too simplistic for upper elementary. I find that in service of the rhyme scheme, Lies manipulates syntax, metaphor, and contractions in ways that we don't typically find in children's books. This type of word play stands up to close reading by older children studying poetry, and also English Language Learners who need to pick apart a sentence to see how the parts of speech may be out of their typical order. Kids who become accustomed to atypical word order, "missing" articles, etc. won't be so daunted later in life when they study Shakespeare!


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