Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

today’s children storybook summary is


By Janell Cannon

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon


Theme: This is a story about acceptance and kindness

Plot: How a baby bat got separated from her mother, fell into a bird’s nest, and was raised among the chicks despite the significant differences between bats and birds.


One night, Stellaluna and her mother went into the forest out looking for fruits for dinner. But bats like Stellaluna are not the only nocturnal creatures; from high on a treetop, an owl was spying on them. And not long, the owl attacked. While the mother bat was defending her baby, Stellaluna lost her grip on her mother on fell through the branches of a tree into a bird’s nest full of chicks. Scared, the baby bat immediately hid below the nest, hanging upside down by her feet.

Soon, the mother bird came with food for her youngsters. She brought them worms which they gulped hungrily. Underneath, Stellaluna was starving, but she didn’t eat an insect; she needed fruits. But she climbed into the nest and opened her mouth, finally swallowing a grasshopper.

Stellaluna learned to be a bird; she ate bugs, slept at night, and flew and gave up sleeping hanging upside down. She learned to fly with the chick and practiced flying every day.

One time, Stellaluna flew ahead of her friends and got lost. At night, tired, she landed on a tree, hanging by her thumbs, right side up, and fell asleep. When she woke up, by her side, there was another bat, hanging upside down just as she used to do as a baby. Then more bats came around her, peering at her with curiosity. They asked her questions, and she told them her story. From the crowd, a bat came forward and hugged Stellaluna. It was her mother who had survived the owl attack.

Stellaluna joined the bat colony and relearned to live as they did: sleeping in the daytime, flying at night, hanging by her feet, and eating fruits. She went back to visit her three bird friends, trying to teach them to fly at night. But since they couldn’t see in the dark, they recognize they are somehow different but not that much that they cannot stay friends forever.

For the little curious minds that want to learn more, the author added two pages of information about bats at the end of the book.

Characters: Stellaluna, a baby bat; Stellaluna’s mother; baby birds, Flitter, Flap, and Pip; mother bird.

Talking points: what are some differences between people, and how do learn to accept and respect them.


The illustration of this book is minimal but significant. The default colors are tones of blue, yellow, and brown, with a hint of green. Lovely drawings of the birds and the bats make the viewer sympathize with the main character.

Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Things to Learn: kids can learn about bat behavior and their role in the ecosystem.

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