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Ampersand F21 UTP Special Omnibus ON & QC

Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats
Urban Ecology, Community Science, and How We Share Our Cities
By (author): Cylita Guy PhD Illustrated by: Cornelia Li
Cylita Guy PhD ,

Illustrated by :

Cornelia Li


Annick Press



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


Juvenile: Age (years) 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) 4 - 7, Grade (US) 4 - 7, Reading age 9 - 12
Nov 16, 2021
$14.95 CAD


9.8in x 7.5 x 0.28 in | 330 gr

Page Count:

104 pages
Annick Press
JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Biology
AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books Award 2022, Nominated New York Public Library’s Best Books List 2021, Joint winner Rocky Mountain Book Award 2022, Long-listed Science Writers & Communicators of Canada Book Award 2022, Commended Yellow Cedar Award 2021, Nominated

Gripping narrative non-fiction with STEM and social justice themes that proves cities can be surprisingly wild places—and why understanding urban nature matters.

What can city bees tell us about climate change? How are we changing coyote behavior? And what the heck is a science bike? Featuring the work of a diverse group of eleven scientists—herself included!—Dr. Cylita Guy shows how studying urban wildlife can help us make cities around the world healthier for all of their inhabitants. In the process, Guy reveals how social injustices like racism can affect not only how scientists study city wildlife, but also where urban critters are likelier to thrive. Sidebars include intriguing animal facts and the often-wacky tools used by urban ecologists, from a ratmobile to a bug vacuum. Cornelia Li’s engaging illustrations bring the scientists’ fieldwork adventures to life, while urban ecology challenges encourage readers to look for signs of wildlife in their own neighborhoods.

*A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

  • Author is a seasoned children's presenter with 8 years of experience as a science centre Science Communicator for kids, and is eager to do appearances and events and is active on social media
  • The often wacky nature of urban ecology, including the scientists’ DIY tools, from bug vacuums to a ratmobile, to a weather station on the back of a bike
  • Fun urban animals! Bats, coyotes, bees, bears...
  • BIPOC scientists featured; exploration of intersections between science and social justice; introduces readers to bias
  • Shows the very real impact of urban ecology research that goes beyond individual species; ie. how cities can fight the effects of climate change, what it means to be in “conflict” with urban animals and how we can reduce those conflicts; species and ecosystem protection/conservation
  • Urban ecology challenges encourage readers to look for signs of wildlife in their own communities; discusses community (aka citizen) science
  • STEM curriculum connections
  • Shows that science careers can be fun, active, and “outside the box/lab”
  • Other features: TOC, key terms, Tools of the Trade sidebars, selected sources, index

CYLITA GUY, PhD is a Toronto-based ecologist, data scientist, and science communicator who studies bats. In her downtime, you can find your friendly neighborhood batgirl chasing her next big outdoor adventure.

CORNELIA LI is a Chinese-born illustrator based in Toronto. She is intrigued by narrative weaved into daily interactions between people and their surroundings and sets out to capture this relationship by externalizing ideas and emotions into visual elements.

“A high-interest, intriguing piece of work . . . Curious readers will find this book easy to read and will learn plenty along the way. Teachers could use it to start a discussion or begin a unit on the ecosystems in urban areas.”

- School Library Connection, 11/21

“If city ecology is your thing, this is a good starter book for any age.”

- SMS Nonfiction Book Reviews, 01/21/22

“Acute yet entertaining writing on an exciting and diverse cohort of real-life scientists makes this book a wonderful urban ecology text for an elementary or even middle school library.”

- School Library Journal, 02/22

“This is Cylita Guy’s first book of nonfiction, and she does it up right. . . . Each scientist, whose work is highlighted, shares stories, research, and adventure. They also offer a challenge for readers . . . Their stories are funny, terrifying, and intense. They offer good advice, entertain, and inform. Questions asked require critical thinking, and discussion.”

- Sal’s Ficiton Addiction, 02/19/22

“Gripping narrative . . . Highly recommended for school and public library collections.”

- Canadian Children’s Book News, Fall/21

“Will satisfy curious readers!”

- Best Books for Kids and Teens, Fall/21

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