Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story Review 

Synopsis from Arbordale Publishing:

Jojo is prepping for an exciting night; it’s time for the bat count! Bats have always been a welcome presence during the summers in the family barn. But over the years, the numbers have dwindled as many bats in the area caught white-nose syndrome. Jojo and her family count the bats and send the numbers to scientists who study bats, to see if the bat population can recover. On a summer evening, the family quietly makes their way to the lawn to watch the sky and count the visitors to their farm.

This fictional story includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 30-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. Bat Count is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The enhanced ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension.

About: Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story is a children’s fiction picture book written by Anna Forrester and illustrated by Susan Detwiler. It was recently released for sale on 2/10/17 by Arbordale Publishing, 32 pages. This book is intended for kids ages 4-9, grades K to 3. Arbordale Publishing’s mission is to inspire the love of reading and improve young children’s science and math skills through picture books. These books will captivate your kids’ minds on your lap, at bedtime, or in the classroom. Please see below for more information about the authors.

My Experience:  I started reading Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story on 4/4/17 as a story time for my 5 year-old son and we finished it on the same day. We read it again on 4/23/17. This book is another great read! I do love it when kids are aware of nature and animals and are taking active roles in helping the animals. I love the positive views of Jojo’s mom regarding the bat’s droppings and happy that she teaches Jojo to not bother the bats when they are hanging upside down in the barn because they needed a place to start a family.

In this book, readers will follow Jojo, a big sister of twin boys as she gather twigs to build a fire. Her family is planning on laying by the fire to watch the roof of the barn to count the bats flying out from it. They started doing the bat count after the twin brothers were born because they have noticed that there were fewer droppings for them to sweep in the barn. A newspaper reports that the bats are dying due to a disease called white-nose syndrome and encourages citizens to keep count and send in the tally to the scientists who are tracking them. I love it when Jojo wanted so badly to see more bats, even willing to wait late into the night, because she wants them to be free of diseases. The bats flying out of the barn that night are newborns with their mama and Jojo just couldn’t wait for them to come back and reproduce.

The story, although fiction, but the facts offered of the bats are true. The facts at the end of the book confirms the facts within the story about the bats. It is interesting to learn how bats and humans are alike when comes to giving birth to babies. They can have one or twins. I like how the story touches family. Jojo’s mom ensures that the mother bat is still happy if she only have one baby bat to confirm that her mom loves Jojo as much as her twin brothers. This book has a good focus on family as well as attention to animals and I highly recommend everyone to read it.

Pro: family, nature, animals, science, illustrations,

Con: none

I rate it 5 stars!

Grab yourself a copy here: Arbordale Publishing Website or Buy here for free shipping: Book Depository

About the Author:

Anna Forrester is an amateur naturalist who finds inspiration for her writing in the quirks and curiosities she encounters in the natural world. When she isn’t writing or reading or messing around outdoors, she creates gardens and other green play spaces for city kids. Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story is Anna’s debut picture book, and was inspired by counts she does with family and friends every summer at a farm in Pennsylvania. She loves biking, paddling, and making things—from soups to bug hotels to giant paper snowflakes. Visit Anna’s website at (Photo & Info obtained from Arbordale Publishing Website).

More Information about Arbordale Publishing:

Phone: 877-243-3457 | Fax: 843-216-3457 | Email: | Web: | Hardcover, Paperback, Spanish Paperback, and downloadable ebooks are available.

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Arbordale Publishing for the opportunity to read and review. Please assured that my opinions are honest.


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