Originally published in 1961, the new release of Rufus: The Bat Who Loved Colors is a timely edition depicting the differences amongst creatures and the acceptance they deserve. Young readers are introduced to Rufus the bat in the first pages and they learn what makes a bat, well, a bat.
Rufus sleeps hanging upside down, and this reader particularly liked the illustration of Rufus hanging upside-down from somewhere beyond the top of the page. Rufus sleeps in a cave during the day. At night he flies out to hunt and since he’s out at night he mainly sees darkness and light (black and white). So when Rufus spots the many colors of a drive-in movie screen, he is determined to see more of the colors of the world. He stays awake during the day and flies from his cave to see colorful birds, butterflies and flowers. Rufus becomes bored with his look and paints his body in a multitude of shades. This frightens people and a few take aim (caution parents: guns present), bringing down the little bat. Dr. Tarturo, a butterfly collector, captures the injured bat and nurses him back to health. He begins by removing the paint, bandaging the wounds, and making a suitable habitat for a bat (a dark cellar). Rufus recovers and comes to realize who he is and why he is different. He returns to his cave and his life as a bat. Dr. Tarturo and Rufus remain friends, accepting each other despite their differences. Strong, simple and effective illustrations and book layout support a story made for discussion.
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