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Dream Weaver

Dream Weaver

by Jonathan London, Rocco Baviera (Illustrator)

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Silently, a tiny yellow spider spins her fragile web. As a young boy stops to watch, she crawls along the delicate silken threads, sometimes hanging, sometimes spinning, sometimes staring back. Before the boy knows it, the spider’s world has become his own. . . .


Silently, a tiny yellow spider spins her fragile web. As a young boy stops to watch, she crawls along the delicate silken threads, sometimes hanging, sometimes spinning, sometimes staring back. Before the boy knows it, the spider’s world has become his own. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This woodland idyll spins the delicate tale of Yellow Spider, an orb weaver. Magnifying the spider's hidden world, London (The Eyes of Gray Wolf) writes his lyric prose in second person ("If you're quiet and listen, maybe you can hear its feet on the sparkling web"), while Bavier (A Boy Called Slow) spotlights the initial spider sighting, then cleverly introduces a boy viewer with whom readers can readily identify. The book thus becomes an invitation into the orb weaver's universe. Here, a snail is gargantuan (it fills an entire spread), and "a raindrop on a fallen leaf is a forest pool." The tranquil, Lilliputian perspective shifts when a hiker charges through, and Baviera shows the spider's web and environs in shambles (and the hiker's footprint in evidence). Undaunted, Yellow Spider "waits, then begins to weave." Bavier's full-bleed, electric, crayon pencil illustrations and telephoto focus heighten the miniature drama. With a palette of primary and secondary shades, Bavier's pictures fairly vibrate with intensity. An addendum, presented as a notebook entry, fills in the scientific details of Yellow Spider. Even reluctant scientists can appreciate this unflinching arachnid hero and may see the world a little differently after viewing it through his eyes. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Susan Fournier
While reading this story, children can use their imaginations to enter the world of a small yellow spider. She is nestled in a web, deep within the forest. If you look at her closely, you can see the world through her eyes. Spinning a web is a wondrous accomplishment. Trapping her prey takes planning and perfect timing. Appreciate and experience the life of a spider by reading the beautiful prose. Learn something new by reading the facts about spiders at the end of the book. When the dream is over you will agree that spiders are truly amazing.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3--Boy meets arachnid in this dreamlike encounter. As a young hiker walks along a path, he spots the tiny creature: "Yellow spider glows like the evening star,/gleaming over the sea/beside the crescent moon." As he looks closer, the illustrations zoom in, providing deep-hued, magnified views of the spider's leafy, insect-filled world. The youngster is shown again at the end of the book, dreaming about his spider-watching day. The poetic text invites readers to participate: "If you're quiet and listen,/maybe you can hear its feet/on the sparkling web." Unfortunately, the accompanying view of the boy in this early scene is jolting, showing a wide-eyed and partial view of his face that suggests fright or horrified amazement rather than a friendly smile. The crayon pencil drawings are painterly in glowing red, green, blue, and yellow. Full-page scenes face white pages of text and lines of yellow type arch artfully across several double-spreads of gigantic snails and leaves. Though the text refers to the tiny size of these creatures, the idea seems to be that viewers are actually trading places and becoming smaller than the insects. It's an evocative and experimental approach that will confuse some readers and appeal to others. The poetic descriptions and impressionistic illustrations are sometimes vague and even contradictory. Still, this is a handsome book and an appreciative tribute to the world of the orb weaver spider. A final page of factual notes about these creatures is included.--Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
Through the eyes of a curious child, readers observe the behavior of a single yellow spider and his world in a lyrical bedtime story. London's text is gentle and peaceful, chronicling the actions of the spider as his world becomes the child's. The paintings offer a spider's-eye view of a giant snail, deep pools of water droplets, and danger as hikers crash through the woods. At bedtime, the spider weaves his web, calm as a starry night. Baviera's illustrations perfectly convey the poetic tone and tilt of the text, yanking readers right into the tiny milieu. Fascinating and fun spider facts cap off a rare effort where engaging text, distinct illustrations, and smart design jibe perfectly. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.41(d)
AD290L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

JONATHAN LONDON has written more than forty books for children, including the eight Froggy books, which were all named IRA-CBC Children's Choices, and his books about fun animal behaviors--Crunch Munch, Snuggle Wuggle, and Wiggle Waggle. He lives with his family in northern California.

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