Spiders and Their Webs


Spider webs that mimic flowers? A spider that "lassos" its prey? A web large enough to cover a garbage truck? These are just a few of the incredible "did you knows" kids will discover in the irresistible book about the fascinating and diverse ways spiders use their webs to trap prey.

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Spider webs that mimic flowers? A spider that "lassos" its prey? A web large enough to cover a garbage truck? These are just a few of the incredible "did you knows" kids will discover in the irresistible book about the fascinating and diverse ways spiders use their webs to trap prey.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In an interesting author's note, Murawski tells how she photographs webs by dusting them with cornstarch and even shows the reader how to do it in this fascinating book about different kinds of webs and how spiders use their silk. The text covers nine types of spiders, some representing larger families, in the over thirteen thousand species of web-making spiders. The left pages include close-up photographs of the spider within its unique and interesting web: some are formed of zigzags, others of rays, and still others are on a sort of spring that collapses at a spider's touch. In addition, scientific name, common names, body size, habitats, and food are explained. A small key shows the scale or size of the arachnid. Most of the spiders live in Central and South America, but readers can find many of these web types in their fields, yards, and basements. In addition to the cornstarch activity, the author includes five more ways spiders use spider silk. It's a compelling introduction to the topic and one to pair with Sandra Markle's Spiders and Their Websites (2001) or to challenge readers of this book with Sy Montgomery's more lengthy and difficult book, The Tarantula Scientist (2004). As a companion book, one slightly easier, see also Sandra Markle's Spiders: Biggest! Littlest! (2004). 2004, National Geographic, Ages 7 to 11.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Outstanding color photographs capture the natural beauty of spider webs in this unique volume. A preface discusses a few major characteristics shared by all spiders and some special characteristics of web builders, followed by profiles of nine different species. Each one is introduced on a page of large-print text and illustrated with a sharp photo and a fact panel listing the scientific name, average size, habitat, prey, etc. The main text briefly describes some key physical and behavioral characteristics of the featured species, how its web functions, and the consistency of the spider silk threads used. The concluding sections describe five additional uses of spider silk, give directions for making webs visible outdoors, and relate some of the author's experiences in putting the book together. A lucid glossary of terms, some of which are not mentioned in the text, and a short list of books, magazines, and Web sites are appended. While the text is clearly written and well organized, it is the photography that stands out here. With its marvelous pictures, clear text, and fresh approach to a popular topic, this title will be a good companion volume to Sandra Markle's Outside and Inside Spiders (S & S, 1994) and Seymour Simon's Spiders (HarperCollins, 2003).-Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Murawski's big, sharp photos of the original world-wide webs introduce children in a memorably close-up way to the hunting strategies of ten spiders, along with briefer notes on spider silk's other natural uses. Young readers won't quickly forget what they learn from the simple, frank text, either: the ogre-faced spider "bites its prey then spits up juices that 'melt' the soft parts of the insect's body. The spider can hold its meal with its front legs and spin a new web with its hind legs-all at the same time!" The author also supplies common and scientific names, average size, and other basic facts for each example, then closes with lists of paper and online resources that are nicely tuned to the intended audience. Fascinating fare for budding naturalists. (Nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792269793
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,392,246
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.29 (w) x 11.23 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Darlyne A. Murawski is a biologist, writer, and award-winning nature photographer who is a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. She has a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Texas and has done post-doctoral research at Harvard and the University of Georgia. She has a master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2001 Murawski won the Award of Excellence from Communication Arts for her photography and has twice been the finalist in the Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards for Magazine Photography. Born in Chircao, she currently lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

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