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Bitsy Bat, School Star

Illustrated by Kaz Windness
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About The Book

Three starred reviews!

A little bat struggles to fit in only to learn to celebrate differences in this “darling book for all children but especially those with autism” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) from Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor–winning author-illustrator Kaz Windness about starting school, making friends, and seeing what makes each person special.

Bitsy is a little bat with big star dreams of making friends at her new school. But when she arrives, Bitsy doesn’t feel like she fits in. The other kids sit on their chairs, but sitting upright makes Bitsy dizzy. The other kids paint with their fingers, but Bitsy would rather use her toes. Everyone tells Bitsy she’s doing things wrong-wrong-wrong, so she tries harder…and ends up having a five-star meltdown.

Now Bitsy feels like a very small star and doesn’t want to go back to school. But with help from her family, Bitsy musters her courage, comes up with a new plan, and discovers that being a good friend is just one of the ways she shines bright!

Backmatter includes a More About Autism facts page, making this “a particularly helpful resource for all kids” (BookPage, starred review).

About The Author

Photo courtesy of the author

Kaz Windness is the author-illustrator of picture books Swim, Jim! and Bitsy Bat, School Star, which received starred reviews from Kirkus ReviewsSchool Library Journal, and BookPage. She created the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Level 1 Ready-to-Read Graphics book Worm and Caterpillar Are Friends, which received a starred review and is a Junior Library Guild selection, and the Level 1 Ready-to-Reads Cat vs. Vac and Go! Go! Dino!. Kaz is also the illustrator of Ollie, the Acorn, and the Mighty Idea by Andrew Hacket and the author of When You Love a Book, illustrated by Heather Brockman Lee. When she’s not writing or illustrating books, Kaz teaches illustration at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design and enjoys making deep-dish pizza. Kaz lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, two children, and Boston terrier. Visit her at WindnessBooks.com.

About The Illustrator

Photo courtesy of the author

Kaz Windness is the author-illustrator of picture books Swim, Jim! and Bitsy Bat, School Star, which received starred reviews from Kirkus ReviewsSchool Library Journal, and BookPage. She created the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Level 1 Ready-to-Read Graphics book Worm and Caterpillar Are Friends, which received a starred review and is a Junior Library Guild selection, and the Level 1 Ready-to-Reads Cat vs. Vac and Go! Go! Dino!. Kaz is also the illustrator of Ollie, the Acorn, and the Mighty Idea by Andrew Hacket and the author of When You Love a Book, illustrated by Heather Brockman Lee. When she’s not writing or illustrating books, Kaz teaches illustration at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design and enjoys making deep-dish pizza. Kaz lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, two children, and Boston terrier. Visit her at WindnessBooks.com.

Why We Love It

“This heartfelt story told from an autistic perspective celebrates the differences that make each one of us special, and will inspire kids to follow their own BIG STAR dreams.”

—Catherine L., Editor, on Bitsy Bat, School Star

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (June 6, 2023)
  • Length: 48 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665905053
  • Ages: 4 - 8

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Raves and Reviews

* "A darling book for all children but especially those with autism."

– Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

* "A thought-provoking story of inclusion to share beyond the first day of school; every library will want to purchase this book."

– School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

* "Every young reader, autistic or not, will likely identify with many of Bitsy’s feelings....Windness’ dusk-toned art plays up Bitsy’s batlike behavior in clever ways, and the author-illustrator’s personal note, as well as a footnote containing additional facts about autism, make Bitsy Bat, School Star a particularly helpful resource for all kids."

– BookPage, STARRED REVIEW

"A winningly inclusive conclusion."

– Publishers Weekly

Awards and Honors

  • Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Master List

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Kaz Windness