ISBN 059048379X - Almost the exact opposite story from The Ugly Duckling, Stellaluna should be in every child's library. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and look more like pictures than paintings or drawings.
Stellaluna is a baby bat who lives with her mother, who takes very good care of her. One night, they are attacked by an owl and Stellaluna falls from the sky to land in a nest of baby birds. The mother bird lets Stellaluna stay - as long as she'll abide by the house rules. That means eating bugs instead of fruit and no hanging upside down! Stellaluna has noplace else to go, so she stays with the bird family and learns their ways. When she finally meets other bats and finds her mother again, she doesn't forget her bird family. She returns to show them her real family and they puzzle over how they can be so different and still share the same feelings.
Cute story, and conveys the "different doesn't mean bad" message in a nicer way than the classic Ugly Duckling tale. I wouldn't choose this one over The Ugly Duckling, but do think they're a nice pair that emphasize the same ideas in different ways. As a nice educational bonus, there are two pages of bat facts at the end.
Wonderful book but my daughter was terrified of it because the little bat's mother died! Even though Stellaluna finds a new family, she won't touch the book. It frightens her too much. I hope an older child will take delight in the book.
This book is a little long for a toddler, but it is awesome! Even for the older sibling listening in. Teaching them that friends don't HAVE to be the same and have the same likes and dislikes. Friends are who you make them! Not to mention it has cute illustrations.