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