The Halloween Fun Continues

By Wanda Luthman, Guest Blogger

When you think of Halloween, what do you think about? Carving pumpkins and trick or treating; or some scarier things like black cats, spiders, bats, and rats; or maybe even scarier things like witches, ghosts, skeletons, and monsters?

These things have become part of our Halloween tradition and are all included in the picture book, Hayley the Halloween Cat & the Search for Bitty the Bat.

I think one of the best things about Halloween is getting to dress up in our favorite costumes. Some of us like fun costumes and some of us like scarier ones. Which ones do you prefer? I prefer fun costumes.

All About Bats

I have always been fascinated by bats. They seem scary in how they fly all higgly-piggly. I’m afraid they’re going to get caught in my unruly hair. LOL

But, I would absolutely love to go to one of the places where you can watch them come out of their “cave” and start out on their nightly flight to eat bugs. I say, “cave” because the bats have made their home under a bridge instead of an actual cave.

Did you know they eat bugs? Only the vampire bat likes to eat blood (Ewww!), regular bats eat insects and they can eat their body weight in insects in one night!

Bats like to sleep during the day. So, if you want to find one, when would you look? At night.

Although you could probably find them sleeping in their cave during the day. But, it’s not a good idea to disturb them. Do you like to be disturbed when you’re sleeping?

Hayley the Halloween Cat & the Search for Bitty the Bat

In the children’s picture book, Hayley the Halloween Cat & the Search for Bitty the Bat, Hayley is searching for her friend all day. She’s afraid her friend, the bat, is going to miss Halloween. But, guess what? Her friend isn’t going to show up until when? That’s right—night time!! But, Bitty has a special surprise for her friends.

There are large bats and there are small bats. The largest bat is called a flying fox and has a wingspan of 6 feet! The smallest bat is called the Kitti’s hog-nosed bat and is so tiny that it weighs less than a penny!

Bats are mammals just like me and you and they have belly buttons! Some bats hibernate in the winter which means they sleep ALL winter long! Now, that’s a long nap!

Other bats migrate to warmer areas in the winter which means they move. They are the literal version of “snow birds” what Floridians call people who come from up north to winter in the south.

Baby bats are called pups and they live in a group called a colony. Did you know that bats have fur and clean themselves like cats do?

Bats also help to pollinate plants which means to spread their pollen around to other plants which helps them multiply. They also help to spread seeds around by pooping them out and that helps plants grow in other places.

Blind as a Bat

Have you ever heard the saying, “Blind as a bat?” Well, bats aren’t really blind. They just have difficulty seeing during the day because their eyes are meant to see at night.

But, they don’t fly by sight at night. They use something called echolocation. You might have heard that term used for dolphins and whales. It’s related to sound. The bat makes a sound and how it bounces off of objects around them and how they hear it come back to them tells them where things are located.

Bats are really fast too—some can fly up to 100 miles per hour!

Some species of bats are endangered which means their numbers are so low that if we don’t help them out and protect them, there could be no more of them.

So, next time you see a bat, you’ll know more about them and hopefully appreciate what they do for us and won’t be as scared of them.

So, if you love all things Halloween and cute black kitties, you’ll love this picture book for ages 0-6. You can read to them or they can read to themselves.

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Purchase Hayley the Halloween Cat & the Search for Bitty the Bat on Amazon at

Leslie C. Halpern is the author of Scantily Clad Truths: Essays on Life with Clothes (and without) and 200 Love Lessons from the Movies.

Helping Children Find Their Passion

In 4 Simple Steps

By Guest Blogger: Wanda Luthman

We all want our children to grow up to be happy, healthy adults, but how can we help them to become that? By helping them find their passion, of course! But, how do we help them find their passion, you ask?

I believe, like Mary Poppins, that the beginning is a very good place to start.

In the beginning, since we don’t know what our children are going to wind up enjoying, we should expose them to all different sorts of things and activities.


One really easy way to do that is through reading. Read all kinds of books to your children. There are books about different professions like firemen (or fire persons), doctors, veterinarians, etc. and there are rhyming picture books where the child can clap along to the rhythm and “feel” the beat. Just in these two examples, your child has been exposed to a job and to music along with the all-important literacy of reading.


The second thing is to allow them to play. I know our kids don’t get as much play as in the “olden” days when we played outside, but even indoor play is a good way to expose them to different things. Such as dolls (both male and female) or stuffed animals that children can use to role play people interactions. There are moving toys such as cars and trucks. There are creative toys like Play doh and paint. There are building toys like Lego and Lincoln logs. Provide some fun clothes for dress up and some musical instruments. What a big world you’ve just created for your child to “try” different things. See what your child is drawn to. Of course, we know not to limit toys to a specific gender.


Third on the list is to go out and explore. Take your child outside and feel the dirt, talk to him or her about the plants, animals, and bugs that you see. Kick and/or throw a ball to each other. Look up and talk about the airplanes flying through the air and at night talk about the moon and the stars and planets. Visit a playground and let them climb, slide, and swing. They may find that they like nature or they like athletics. Go to ball games, go to plays (age-appropriate ones), and chorus concerts. They might discover that they like acting or singing or both!


The fourth thing is to do. Ask your children what they would like to try—maybe they want to join a ball team, or a choir, or to plant a garden, or visit a planetarium, an airport, or a fire station. If possible, have the people at these places talk to them about their jobs.

Continue this process of exploring throughout their early years. You just never know what is going to spark excitement and passion in your child. It’s so fun to see that spark and then fan it into a blaze so they can grow up to be happy, healthy people living their passion!

Wanda Luthman is a children’s author who loves helping kids be the best they can be! Follow her on her Blog, Facebook, or Twitter for more parenting and teaching tips and techniques so you can help the children in your life be the best they can be too!

Children’s books by Wanda Luthman.

Her books include two chapter books for ages 7-11 (3rd and 4th graders) The Lilac Princess and A Turtle’s Magical Adventure and a picture book for ages 0-5 called Little Birdie Grows Up. They are all available in paperback, ebook and audiobook on Amazon at