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Bats in the Band



Bats celebrate the end of hibernation with live music.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Readers will learn about different musical instruments and genres, as well as the sounds and sensations of seeing live music performed.

Positive messages

Playing and listening to live music is a sensory experience with intrinsic value.

Positive role models

Characters are active participants in a community invested in leisure time and art for its own sake.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Bats in the Band tells the story of a bat community that seeks out its first live music performance to celebrate the end of hibernation. The bats dance, they sing, and they revel in a variety of genres. It's a terrific introduction for preschoolers to different musical styles and the exhilaration of seeing music live, as well as the idea of art as something all around you in the world and not only on stage.

What's the story?

The bats are out of hibernation and reveling in the sights and sounds they've been sleeping through for months. To celebrate the new season, they head out to the theater, where they're treated to a musical variety that skips through genres, styles, and signatures only to discover that, long after the performance is over, there's music to be found in everything.

Is it any good?


BATS IN THE BAND is a rich visual read. If it were only an instructional tour of different musical styles, it would still be educational. But it takes a love of music one step further by showing the way it affects us before, during, and after the experience, from anticipating to reveling to hearing music in our heads as we leave the venue. Plus, it connects this experience to becoming artists of a kind ourselves: Inspired by what we've seen, we can see and hear music in things we once ignored or missed -- a buzzing streetlight or a tumbling trash can. The illustrations, done in acrylic paint, and the rhythmic text give it a warm, nostalgic glow. Captivating for kids who've shown an interest in any instrument, spoon or otherwise.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about different musical styles. Which is your favorite? Do you like country or jazz or rock music? Why?

  • Have you ever seen a live music performance? What were some of the instruments? Did you dance and sing or sit quietly and listen?

  • Have you ever made your own instruments out of household items such as spoons or bowls? Try starting your own family band with things lying around the house.

Book details

Author:Brian Lies
Illustrator:Brian Lies
Genre:Picture Book
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Arts and dance, Science and nature, Wild animals
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication date:August 5, 2014
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Available on:Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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