The Spider and the Fly

The Spider and the Fly

4.3 3
by Mary Howitt, Cathie Shuttleworth
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

"'Will you walk into my parlor,'

said the Spider to the Fly..."

is easily one of the most recognized and quoted first lines in all of English verse. But do you have any idea how the age-old tale of the Spider and the Fly ends? Join celebrated artist Tony DiTerlizzi as he — drawing inspiration from one of his loves, the classic Hollywood horror

See more details below

Overview

"'Will you walk into my parlor,'

said the Spider to the Fly..."

is easily one of the most recognized and quoted first lines in all of English verse. But do you have any idea how the age-old tale of the Spider and the Fly ends? Join celebrated artist Tony DiTerlizzi as he — drawing inspiration from one of his loves, the classic Hollywood horror movies of the 1920s and 1930s — shines a cinematic spotlight on Mary Howitt's warning, written to her own children about those who use sweet words to hide their not-so-sweet intentions.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Howitt's 1829 cautionary poem of a fly's risky entanglement with her perfidious predator springs to cinematic life amid silver-sheened black-and-white illustrations by an artist well known for his work on the Magic: The Gathering trading cards. Gouache images that seem to glow in the dark deftly recall the silent film era, craftily luring in readers even before the tale's famous opener, " `Will you walk into my parlor?' said the Spider to the Fly." An exterior view of a darkened mansion, its sole light coming from an attic window, gives way to a close-up of the same window as a petite dragonfly in flapper attire (complete with fringed dress, long gloves and flower-petal parasol) peers inside at Spider's lair: a Victorian dollhouse set amid cobwebby attic treasures. With an arsenal of Vincent Price expressions, the well-heeled Spider uses food and flattery to entice his guest into staying within his walls. Some of the text appears periodically against a framed black backdrop, la silent movie captions, while a silvery web is progressively woven in the background. Finely detailed scenes foreshadow Fly's demise with subtle, Charles Addams-esque humor that, while it may escape younger readers, will tickle the Lemony Snicket set. (In one scene, previous insect victims, now ghosts with their feet hovering above the floor, hold up a copy of The Joy of Cooking Bugs, in a vain warning to Fly.) DiTerlizzi has spun a visual treat that young sophisticates and adults alike will enjoy. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The poem is more than 150 years old, but the message to children that "not everyone who talks sweetly offers sweets" is sadly truer than ever. The message in this new edition is told with spooky fun dramatized by Tony DiTerlizzi's silly but imaginative drawings, all in shades of black, white and gray. Youngsters might wonder about a picture book with no color, but black is indeed the color of Halloween. There are marvelous details to point out to children, such as the looking glass that is really a bottle cap, the curtains that are butterfly wings or the various delicacies spread out on the spider's dining room table. The 19th century language of the original poem will necessitate explanations of such phrases as "give heed" and "unto an evil counselor," but the book will be marvelous for a simple storytime and not exclusively at Halloween or a reading animated by discussion of either the message or the artwork. 2002, Simon and Schuster,
— Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Most people are familiar with Howitt's poem, but DiTerlizzi's art raises this hackneyed classic to a new level. Rendered in black-and-white gouache and pencil, then reproduced in silver-and-black duotone, the paintings have a spooky quality perfectly suited to retelling this melancholy tale. Ms. Fly, with her whimsical flower umbrella and Roaring '20s attire, captures the flavor of an old-time Hollywood heroine. Her nemesis, seated on his Victorian chair, is dressed like a pasha in silk robe and slippers (six, of course) or resplendent in tails, top hat, and spats; he is clearly a dastardly fiend cloaked in splendid apparel to dazzle his victim. Wispy, transparent, ghostly shapes haunt the eerie mansion; the white print on the black pages stands out against the shadows creeping across each spread. All of these elements foreshadow the fly's untimely demise. With its tragic ending, heavy moralizing, and sophisticated artwork, this book will appeal to older children as well as to adult fans of old horror movies. This title is worth purchasing for its valuable artwork alone.-Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Starred Review
"'Will you walk into my parlor?'/said the Spider to the Fly." Howitt's 1829 cautionary poem is realized here in full cinematic fashion. Delightfully ghoulish full-bleed black-and-white spreads are rendered in gouache and pencil, and reproduced in silver-and-black duotone, resulting in images that recall the slightly fuzzy-edged figures from old black-and-white horror movies. The typeface and occasional framed text pages heighten this effect by evoking silent-movie titles. The setting is a dustily gothic attic in which DiTerlizzi's (Alien and Possum: Friends No Matter What, ) "camera" never rests, zooming in, out, up, and down in a dazzling series of perspectives as a top-hatted and bespatted spider romances a na�ve flapper fly. Her protestations in the face of his overtures grow ever weaker, and despite the warnings of the ghostly figures of past victims (one brandishes a knife and fork while another points urgently at The Joy of Cooking Bugs), she goes to her inevitable doom. The illustrations embrace the primness of the poem -- the wide-eyed fly is the very picture of a bygone innocence -- but introduce a wealth of detail that adds a thick layer of humor. Aside from the aforementioned ghosts, evidence of the spider's predilections abounds: in his parlor, he relaxes with his feet up on a very dead ladybug stool with X's for eyes. A tongue-in-cheek "letter" from the spider follows the poem, in which he exhorts readers to "be advised that spiders are not the only hunters and bugs are not the only victims." This cautionary intrusion serves to explicate the metaphor for concretely minded readers, but the message is not likely to diminish their pleasure in the grisly doings one bit. Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved
Kirkus Reviews
" 'Will you walk into my parlor?' / said the Spider to the Fly." Howitt's 1829 cautionary poem is realized here in full cinematic fashion. Delightfully ghoulish full-bleed black-and-white spreads are rendered in gouache and pencil, and reproduced in silver-and-black duotone, resulting in images that recall the slightly fuzzy-edged figures from old black-and-white horror movies. The typeface and occasional framed text pages heighten this effect by evoking silent-movie titles. The setting is a dustily gothic attic in which DiTerlizzi's (Alien and Possum: Friends No Matter What, p. 494, etc.) "camera" never rests, zooming in, out, up, and down in a dazzling series of perspectives as a top-hatted and bespatted spider romances a na�ve flapper fly. Her protestations in the face of his overtures grow ever weaker, and despite the warnings of the ghostly figures of past victims (one brandishes a knife and fork while another points urgently at The Joy of Cooking Bugs), she goes to her inevitable doom. The illustrations embrace the primness of the poem-the wide-eyed fly is the very picture of a bygone innocence-but introduce a wealth of detail that adds a thick layer of humor. Aside from the aforementioned ghosts, evidence of the spider's predilections abounds: in his parlor, he relaxes with his feet up on a very dead ladybug stool with X's for eyes. A tongue-in-cheek "letter" from the spider follows the poem, in which he exhorts readers to "be advised that spiders are not the only hunters and bugs are not the only victims." This cautionary intrusion serves to explicate the metaphor for concretely minded readers, but the message is not likely to diminish their pleasure in the grisly doings one bit.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812058055
Publisher:
Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/28/1987
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
24
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >