A Boy Called Bat

A BOY CALLED BAT, by Elana K. Arnold

I had the privilege of listening to author Elana K. Arnold at the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrations at our chapter’s fall conference, when she gave an amazing keynote talk on nurturing creativity. “In case you can’t tell,” Arnold told me later, “I’m neurodiverse.” And so is Bat (short for Bixby Alexander Tam). He wears earmuffs for his sound sensitivity, flaps his hands, has trouble looking into eyes, and has no friends.

At least, not until his veterinarian mother brought home a new-born baby skunk. In the process of learning to be the best caretaker he could be — despite having to spend time away from the kit with his dad due to his parent’s divorce — Bat also learns how to be a friend. A Boy Called Bat is the first book in a series about this  lovable character. Illustrations by Charles Santoso (typically one per chapter) add to the appeal.


  • Building empathy and understanding,
  • A class read-aloud to better understand the autism spectrum, neurodiversity and/or the challenges of kids navigating divorce, and
  • Animal lovers of all stripes!IMG_3243


“Bat was 99.9 percent sure, because that was as sure as you could ever be about anything.

Publisher:       Walden Pond (2017)

Age range:      K-3

Pages:             192 pages; 21209 words