- Q: Why bats? Are they your favorite animal?
A: No, I think my favorite animal is the armadillo. The reason I wrote a book with bats in it is that my daughter (then in second grade), once saw a frost pattern in our guest room window and said, “Look—it’s a bat, with sea foam!” That sounded like a book to me, and I sat down and began to write notes for what would become Bats at the Beach.
- Q: Why do the bats look like mice?
A: In German, “bat” is “Fledermaus,” and I draw my bats a bit more like flying mice than actual bats. Their wings are pretty accurate, but the faces are fiction. There are some bats which are really appealing—look at photographs taken by Bat Conservation International founder Dr. Merlin Tuttle, and you’ll be forced to agree!
- Q: Why does one bat have a pair of yellow floaties or swimmies on?
A: Even though I didn’t give him a name in the book, that little bat (I call him Little Bat) is the main character of the book. He’s wearing floaties because he can’t swim. But I also wanted readers to be able to spot one bat doing things throughout the pages of the book, and the bright yellow floaties were a good way to mark him.
- Q: What are those things in the bats’ marshmallows?
A: Though I’ve never eaten a real bugmallow, my guess is that those are probably cricket legs and wings sticking out of them. Doesn’t sound all that delicious to me, but then again, I’m not an insectivorous bat.
- Q: Why does Little Bat hang onto his mother’s belly fur at the beginning and end of the book?
A: Baby bats can’t fly, and so they hang onto their mothers and get flown around. Isn’t that cool? I didn’t know that until I was doing research on bats for this book.
- Q: Did Little Bat get left behind at the end of the book?
A: No—if you notice, that bat isn’t wearing floaties. That’s an older bat, who just wanted to stay at the beach to see the sunrise.