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Written by and Illustrated by
Sarah Dyer

A delightfully witty story of Batty's upside down attempt to be like all the other animals in the zoo from the award-winning creator of Mrs Muffly's Monster

Picture story books

32 pages
270x214 mm
Add to Cart
Pub. Date:
3rd February 2011

Batty's efforts to impress visitors at the zoo fail, but he is determined to be popular like the other animals. First he goes to the penguin pool but the water is cold and he doesn't like fish. Then he tries the gorilla enclosure but he doesn't have any fleas for the gorillas to pick off him. He tries to laze in the sun with the lions but its far too bright for his sensitive eyes. When eventually he returns to his bat cave he finds that everyone else is trying to be like him, hanging upside down.

This clever and witty story is brought to life with Batty's upside down view of his surroundings, involving the reader in turning the book upside down with him. With its warm-hearted theme it is sure to delight readers young and old.

Sarah Dyer was born in Brighton in 1978. She moved to London to study a BA in Illustration at Kingston University. Her first book Five Little Fiends, which won the 2001 Smarties Bronze Award, started as a project in the second year of University. Her favourite medium to work in is oil pastels, ink, pencils and collage. She lectures in Illustration at Kingston and Middlesex universities and has recently completed an MA in Illustration/Sequential Design at Brighton University.Sarah lives in Hove.

Suffused with humour… A warm-hearted, humorous exploration of acceptance that used the form of the picture book to full effect and shows different ways of looking at the world.


A touching story about what it feels like to be an outsider and how you can make friends...An entertaining look about fitting in.


Sarah Dyer's sweet tale shakes off the spooky associations, portraying an adorable and endearingly insecure fella who's desperate for a little attention. In the zoo where he lives, it's always the 'wow' attractions like the lions and the penguins who pull the crowds. All Batty can do is hang upside down... In a novel twist, the illustrations alternate between being topsy-turvy abd the right way up. All those changing perspectives make for some dizzying, page-flipping fun. And savvy, eagle-eyed readers will soon pick up another narrative unfolding in the background...


Sarah Dyer's humorously distinctive pencil and pastel illustrations show much of the action from Batty's upside down perspective so birds appear to perch on the underside of branches, lions to snooze on the underside of ceilings and penguins to plunge upwards into their pool. Signs notices and bird calls provide added wit and interest to the quirky pictures which themselves require a degree of sophistication to interpretation.

Books for Keeps

The charm of this picture book lies in the lively and detailed illustrations, some of them printed upside down to show Batty's view of the world. It is a book to be looked at together as children will enjoy turning it around to study the pictures the other way up.

School Librarian

All great fun.


This brilliant book teaches you how to look at the world from a bat's point of view. Don't waste time hanging around - go out and read this book! Gabrielle Carey (aged 10)

Ibby Link
Other books by this author
  • Mrs Muffly's Monster
  • Monster Day at Work
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