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Home Home in the Cave

Home in the Cave

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By Janet Halfmannhome in the cave

Illustrated by Shennen Bersani
Arbordale Publishing, 2012
ISBN: 978-1607185222 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-1607185314 (Paperback)
Also available as a Spanish/English ebook
Ages 4-9, fiction picture book

Buy this book at your favorite, or Arbordale Publishing.


Gold Gelett Burgess Award—Growing-up Category


The Story

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 other cave-living critters rely on bats for food. Will Baby Bat finally venture out of the cave to help the other animals?

A "For Creative Minds" section at the back of the book features activities on cave life and habitats, bat echolocation, and more.

Lots More Free Educational Resources

Go to Arbordale Publishing's website for 51 more pages of teaching activities, interactive reading and math quizzes, alignment to Common Core, state, and national standards, learning links, and more—all FREE!

The Story Behind the Story

I have always been fascinated by bats, especially the large numbers that fly from caves at nightfall. So when I saw on Sylvan Dell Publishing's website that the editors were looking for a book on the cave habitat, I started researching. Caves turned out to 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 learned 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!


  • "Halfmann reveals factual details about bats through 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 th 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 Livesay, Environmental Education Association of Illinois
  • "What I loved about the book was that through a simple story the author was able to introduce children to the science of caves. New vocabulary such as stalactites and guano are easy to understand through the context of the story and the beautiful pictures." —Baby Brainstorm
  • "The tale of Baby Bat and life in his cave is a fun, vibrant look at critters whose lives depend on having the bat in their habitat."—Feathered Quill Book Reviews
  • "Aside from the educational value of the book and the beautiful illustrations, the story itself covers important themes such as finding the courage to "take flight" and seeing the value and taking pride in who you are and how you contribute to the wider society as a whole. Baby Bat teaches us all a lesson in this respect." —Mother Daughter Book Reviews
  • "Janet Halfmann's Home in the Cave is a sweet read-aloud story, but it's also an informative book on both bats and cave habitats and a good resource for launching early science lessons." —
  • "I think you should read it and you should because it helps you learn about bats and it's so good I would read it a thousand times. That's how much I liked this book! The illustrations were really good also; it shows the cave from all different views." —Kids Book Review (by Wyatt, age 8)
  • For more reviews, go to Arbordale Publishing.

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