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Thursday, December 8, 2022

When Spider Met Shrew, written by Deborah Kerbel and illustrated by Genevieve Cote. Groundwood Books, 2022. $18.99 ages 3 and up

"You could be my new mom, for a 
little while at least," said Possum. 

"What does a mom do?"
asked Dog. 

"For starters, you carry 
your kids around on your 
back," said Possum.

In this charming tale of community, Spider is carried by the wind right into the path where Shrew is standing. Shrew has just lost its home, and Spider offers the eight eyes needed to find a new one. Rain forces them to look for shelter under a nearby tree, where they meet up with a tiny bat. Scared by the wild weather, the two join the wet bat who tells them a sad story about being without friends.

The hungry spider, the homeless shrew, and the wet bat stop to talk with possum who is scared of being alone. The four find camaraderie in being together and enjoy a quick romp in the gathering puddles. As they wander on, they meet a sad dog whose puppies have grown up and gone. It is suggested that the dog become 'mom' to the traveling companions. Voila, a new home for them all as they find a place on the dog's back and move on. Seeing the animals on the dog's back reminds a pony they meet of the job he once did himself. Once aboard his back, the task becomes finding the next place to go. How about lunch? Remember - spider is hungry! 

Peppy dialogue and endearing watercolor illustrations provide all the charm needed to make this a perpetual request for rereading with little ones.                                                                                      

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