I love the book A Boy Called BAT by Elana K. Arnold. It’s about an autistic boy, Bixby Alexander Tam, BAT for short, who loves animals. Since my boys also love animals, I thought this would be a great book for them.
SK13 is not going to read anything I suggest. Because 13.
SK11, however, still likes me to read to him, so we dove in together. I thought he would dig the baby skunk BAT and his veterinarian mom rescue. Plus, it’s a series, so we’d get to follow BAT and his skunk on more adventures. Unfortunately, we didn’t get very far.
SK11 is extremely sensitive. He has been haunted by the death of animals in other books we’ve read. As I have to walk out of movies where there’s even a hint they will hurt a dog, I totally get that. It was pure torture every time teachers made us watch Where the Red Fern Grows in elementary school. Seriously, that’s just mean.
In the first BAT book, we never meet the mama skunk or her other kits because their death happens offstage in the beginning of the book. I thought that would make it far enough removed that SK11 could get past it.
Even several chapters in, he was stuck in sadness for the dead skunks and unable to focus on the rescued kit, so we stopped reading.
This is an adorable story with an autistic main character provided your kid can get past the circumstances that land the skunk kit with BAT’s family.
Talking about the skunk kit led me to make this: