CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 29 . . . . March 30, 2018
And so, begins Anna Humphrey's Megabat, an early chapter book that shows how friendships can spring from the unlikeliest of places.
Meet Daniel, a young boy who has just moved from Toronto. After hearing a strange voice in the night and discovering mysterious puddles in his room, Daniel is convinced that his house is haunted. One night, Daniel decides to confront his fears head on, but instead, he comes face to face with a bat. That's right, Daniel's worst fear turns out to be a fruit bat named Megabat.
It turns out that Megabat is just as lonely as Daniel, since he was mistakenly taken from a papaya tree in Borneo and shipped to Canada. Now, in a distant land with no family or friends, Megabat cannot wait to find his way back home. And that is how a most unlikely friendship begins.
Daniel can sympathize with Megabat since he, himself, is far away from home. So, of course, he decides to help the bat find his way back to Borneo. After one hilarious attempt after another fails, both Megabat and Daniel realize that the home they were searching for all along is right in their own backyard.
Written as an early chapter book for beginner readers, Megabat is a fast-paced novel that will have young readers wanting more. I, for one, could not put the book down. In particular, I absolutely loved Megabat, the hilarious little fruit bat with a personality of his own. He loves Star Wars, jelly rolls, and buttermelon – what's not to love! Additionally, the book also comes to life through Kass Reich's beautiful black and white illustrations which are interspersed throughout. These illustrations help to bring Megabat and his world to life and are an integral part of the reading experience.
Overall, Megabat is a highly engaging read with hilarious capers, engaging characters, and gorgeous illustrations. With its central theme of finding a friend in the unlikeliest of places, I recommend this book for all the children out there who can relate.
Teresa Iaizzo is a librarian with the Toronto Public Library.