Barry B. Wary


Barry B. the spider likes eating bugs. Crispy click beetles! Mayflies in June! A firefly souffl by the light of the moon! But his buggy snacks mean that Barry B. doesn't have too many friends. So when he falls for a beautiful butterfly passing by, Barry B. is determined to prove his love to her. Will he be able to change his bug-eating ways to woo her?

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Barry B. the spider likes eating bugs. Crispy click beetles! Mayflies in June! A firefly souffl by the light of the moon! But his buggy snacks mean that Barry B. doesn't have too many friends. So when he falls for a beautiful butterfly passing by, Barry B. is determined to prove his love to her. Will he be able to change his bug-eating ways to woo her?

Impeccable verse, unique and beautiful illustrations and a sly sense of humor will make this a hit with adults and children alike.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Barry the spider has a furtive expression and a keen interest in insect cuisine. But when he becomes infatuated with a butterfly ("Her flitter-by wings glowed glitter-sky blue./ Her curly antennae flopped cutely askew"), he resolves to change his diet. "So Barry quit cold, stopped dining on bugs,/ then sadly set free his delectable slugs." When a nighttime visitor falls into his candle, Barry is horrorstruck ("Was the love of his life now a blackened french fry?"), but it turns out to be a moth—which he eats. The end. It's a startling conclusion; too grim for comedy, too shallow for a love story (the butterfly's only line is "Eeek!"), too idle for a fable about changing bad habits. Debut artist Gifford's art hits a Halloween note, right between cute and scary; her webby inked lines and faded colors are well suited for Barry's spindly legs and the shaggy-headed flowers. Glass bottles filled with Barry's snacks and his insect-sized Weber grill setup provide visual entertainment, and newcomer Muir's verse trips along with a butterfly touch, but the book's ambiguities leave it without a clear audience. Ages 3–7. (May)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Barry B. Wary, a spider-like creature, loves to eat bugs. He crunches "critters much smaller than he." Beetles, mayflies, fleas, all are fine, but Barry is lonely eating alone. He wants a friend, but everyone fears his appetite. The jolly rhyming couplets then introduce a cute butterfly. Barry is love struck. But she quickly flies away. " can you love what you're dying to chew?" is his dilemma. Barry stops zapping and eating bugs, switching to rosebuds and herbal tea, while trying to lure his love back. Finally something flutters by, right into the candle flame of his carefully set table. He is aghast at first, but then happy to find it is only a moth, "flame-grilled to perfection." What this does to his diet and his romance remains to be seen. As seen on the jacket, Barry is a round, hairy creature with large round eyes and eight skinny striped legs. When the delicately colored, flirtatious butterfly flits by, her path around several attractive flowers is marked by a dotted line. The comic story evolves from these characters in simple scenes with other creatures, plants, and flowers. The sketchy delicate tracery of bugs, webs, and leaves on the end papers introduces and concludes the story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2–3—In rhyming quatrains, Muir tells the story of a furry pop-eyed spider whose greatest pleasure is eating bugs and slugs, until he realizes that he has no friends to eat with. In his search for a companion, he falls in love with a beautiful butterfly that flutters away in fear when he speaks to her ("My dear, you look sweeter than cricket ice cream"). Alas ("how can you love/what you're dying to chew?"), Barry gives up eating bugs, plants two butterfly bushes, and waits by candlelight for his beloved to reappear. She does not, but a moth that flies into the candle's flame provides the spider with an unexpected, "flame-grilled" dinner. Gifford's cartoon illustrations in pink, brown, pale and dark orange, apple green, and light blue show the fluffy, long-legged spider cavorting across white pages under a garden of rose bushes; catching bugs in webs, jars, and butterfly nets; eating at a tablecloth-covered tree stump; and waiting for his love under a gray sky. The sophisticated humor in this odd little tale will be understood by elementary students, but may well be lost on younger children, despite the picture-book format.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423127567
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 824,444
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Leslie Muir is a writer, painter and poet. She is also a very adventuresome amateur chef (though she has never knowingly cooked a bug). Leslie lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her computer geek husband, two high-spirited sons, and a large German Shepherd who likes to eat flies. This is her first book for children.

Carrie Gifford spent many years teaching children's theater before founding her Greeting Card company, Red Cap Cards, with her husband Hal Mertz. This is Carrie's first book with Disney-Hyperion. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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