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Monday, March 30, 2015

The Spider, written and illustrated by Elise Gravel. Tundra Books, Random House. 2015. $12.99 ages 7 and up

"There are over 40,000
species of spiders. They
can live in almost any
In cold climates
In warm climates
On mountaintops
... But not in
outer space."

Oh, good! A new addition to the very impressive (and outrageous) Disgusting Creatures series. The children that I have shared them with love them, as much as their parents and teachers do not. But, I don't believe that Elise Gravel wrote them to impress we 'oldsters'. I'm sure she had much more fun imagining how pleasing and funny they would be for young readers. It's a terrific series, and it never disappoints.

Each book has been a stellar complement to the others; kids need to see nonfiction books like these to teach them about the world's creatures while also entertaining them with a dose of humor. That is done brilliantly:

"Since she has eight legs, the spider is
not considered an
Insects only have six legs.

Maybe not,
but I'm so pretty in
princess shoes."

With her eight feet clad in pink heeled boots, and festooned with pert black bows, the spider smiles sweetly at her audience. Every turn of the page furnishes young readers with new and pertinent information about the spider, while also providing a humorous running commentary that is certain to result in giggles.

Disgusting? Indeed! Isn't that the best part?

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