Review Blog

Aug 15 2011

Warambi by Aleesah Darlison

cover image

Ill. by Andrew Plant. Working Title Press, 2011. ISBN 978 1921504 28 0.
(All ages) Picture book. The birth of the bent-wing bat in its dark cave, means that it attaches itself to its mother for drinking and sleeping while enfolded in her warm wings. The little bat stays like this for some time, but when mum flies out looking for insects, the pup must crowd together with the other babies, keeping warm until their mothers return. Eventually the pups too go outside, learning to collect the insects for themselves, with their mothers to teach them. So life goes on, but one day, big machinery pulls apart the cave in which these bats live, causing the pup to fly off into the night sky, alone. Warambi takes refuge in the pocket of a coat, hung outside a farmhouse, and there she stays, warm and protected until found by the farmer. He then takes her out into the farmland and lets her go.
The stunning blue pages will draw the reader in to the life cycle of a bent-wing bat, following the story of Warambi, based on a true story of this little bat's survival. Much will be learnt from the story itself, the way a bat lives, its initial dependence on its mother, its learning to survive alone, and then of course, the effects of the relentless push by suburbia into its habitat. Students will be able to use this book as an entry into talk of conservation and habitat destruction, of sustainability and of course, about an Australian mammal, the bent-wing bat. The end papers are full of information about the bent-wing bats, which will thrill younger readers, looking for more facts after reading the story. An appropriate read for the Year of the Bat (2011).
Fran Knight

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