Home in the Cave
By Janet Halfmann
Illustrated by Shennen Bersani
Ages 3-8, Picture Book: hardcover, softcover, e-book, Spanish versions
Gelett Burgess Award in the Growing Up category
Home in the Cave is a story of friendship, caring, growing up, and the fascinating life in a cave. Baby Bat loves his cave home and never wants to leave it. While practicing flapping his wings one night, he falls, and Pluribus Packrat rescues him. They then explore the deepest, darkest corners of the cave where they meet amazing animals—animals that don't need eyes to see or colors to hide from enemies. Baby Bat learns how important bats are to the cave habitat and how bat poop, called guano, feeds most of the other cave animals. Will Baby Bat finally venture out of the cave to help the other animals?
I have always been fascinated by bats, especially the large numbers that fly from caves at nightfall. So when I saw on Arbordale's website that the editors were looking for a book on the cave habitat, I started researching. Caves turned out to be more amazing than I had imagined. Almost from the start, I planned to make a Baby Bat the star of the book. And I've always been intrigued by packrats, so I hoped to include that animal, too. I planned to have Baby Bat be afraid to leave the cave , but I didn't discover how much he loved his home until I started writing. When I Iearned how important bats and their guano (bat poop) are to the life of the cave, I was about as surprised as Baby Bat is in the story! The guano provided the perfect reason for Baby Bat to get up the courage to leave the cave to hunt insects! Yay, guano!
"For Creative Minds" activity section at back of book
"Halfmann reveals factual details about bats though an eventful story line."—School Library Journal
"All things nocturnal and furry come alive in this unusual story of a baby bat learning about his surroundings . . . Fascinating scientific tidbits are made palatable and entertaining." —Foreword Book Reviews
"In Home in the Cave, Janet Halfmann once again offers accurate natural history and biology while not forgetting her Pre-K to middle elementary audience and maintaining an interesting storyline to keep them engaged . . . As is so important to environmental education, Halfmann has found a way to deliver complex ecosystem relationships through an engaging and entertaining presentation that greatly increases information-retention in our students."—Sarah Liivesay, Environmental Educator