Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction Biology

Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats

Urban Ecology, Community Science, and How We Share Our Cities

by (author) Cylita Guy

illustrated by Cornelia Li

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2021
Biology, Environmental Science & Ecosystems, City & Town Life, Experiments & Projects
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


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

About the authors

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.

Cylita Guy's profile page

Cornelia Li is a Chinese-born illustrator currently based in Toronto. She is intrigued by narrative woven into daily interactions between people and their surroundings and she set out to capture the relationship by externalizing the ideas and emotions into elements in her images. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, the AOI, 3x3, the National Magazine Awards and more.


Cornelia Li's profile page


  • Long-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Commended, Science Writers & Communicators of Canada Book Award
  • Nominated, AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books Award
  • Joint winner, New York Public Library’s Best Books List
  • Nominated, Yellow Cedar Award

Editorial Reviews

“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

“Will satisfy curious readers!”

Best Books for Kids and Teens, Fall/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

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

Canadian Children’s Book News, Fall/21

“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

Other titles by

Related lists