Science Comics: Bats: Learning to Fly

Science Comics: Bats: Learning to Fly

The next Science Comics release (after volumes educating us about Coral Reefs, Dinosaurs, and Volcanoes) tackles those misunderstood mammals, Bats, as written and illustrated by Falynn Koch.

There’s not much story in this volume, to make more space for a thorough visual overview of all kinds of bats and their methods of nutrition. The loose framing structure features a Little Brown Bat who’s injured by humans during a night wildlife hike. He’s taken to an animal hospital with a vet who specializes in care of him, where he meets every other type of bat and learns to appreciate those different from him.

I was impressed by how well Koch gave the various bats expression and personality while keeping them looking realistic. When the gang is talking to each other at the hospital, their observations and perspectives are amusing, as they try to interpret people’s reactions to their natural behavior.

Science Comics: Bats: Learning to Fly

The human thought I was trying to fly into its hair!
Gross! What would we want with hair? Build a nest, like some kind of bird?

As Little Brown Bat heals and learns, sidebars cover

  • how bats fly
  • their natural predators
  • how bats use echolocation to navigate in the dark
  • their wing structure
  • where bats sleep
  • different types of people who have jobs working with bats
  • how bats contribute to the natural cycle of plant growth
  • the difference between bats and rodents
  • and detailed images of bat faces with explanations of why they look the way they do.

It does the job any educational graphic novel should do — it covers the basics of the topic visually and memorably. Setting the book in an animal hospital allows Koch to also discuss the many ways people can injure bats, often unintentionally, so readers will know better how to co-exist with the species.

Science Comics: Bats: Learning to Fly is due out February 28. It can be ordered from your local comic shop with Diamond code DEC16 1695 (paperback, list price $12.99) or DEC16 1696 (hardcover, $19.99). (The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)