Spinning Spiders

Spinning Spiders

by Melvin Berger, S. D. Schindler

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Spiders make webs to catch flies, gnats, and other insects. How do they do it? How long does it take them? Read and find out!


Spiders make webs to catch flies, gnats, and other insects. How do they do it? How long does it take them? Read and find out!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A wonderful offering from two old pros in nonfiction, this introduction to the spider world is a fascinating one. Berger covers spider types, behaviors, differing web styles, and how spiders spin (but not how they keep from sticking to their own webs!). In one very clear visual, the confusion over arachnids and insects is sorted out by placing a spider, a scorpion, and some ticks that are all arachnids near a wasp that is an insect. The text lists differing leg numbers, wings, number of body parts, and presence of antennae or feelers as distinguishing features and a young child can see or count. Schindler's precise paintings invite close observation, and each spider is labeled within the text so readers can name and learn about the ogre-faced spider that hangs with its web between its feet or the bolas spider that swings a ball of silk thread at its prey. Just right for encouraging young readers to observe their surroundings, the book also includes a method for capturing a spiderless web to hang on your wall. Says Berger, it's all right to do this—spiders sometimes weave a web a day. For more information for older children, see Marjory Facklam's equally wonderful, photo-illustrated Spiders and Their Websites (Little, Brown, 2001). A "Let's-Read-and-Find-Out, Level 2" book. 2003, HarperCollins,
— Susan Hepler
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Using crystal-clear language, Berger unravels the mysteries behind arachnids, detailing how they weave their webs and the ways they use them to survive. Stunning illustrations introduce a colorful array of spiders along with their intricate and elegant silk creations. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A beautifully illustrated, informative entry in the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series explores the biology of spinning spiders. The text dutifully explains the distinction between insects and arachnids, eschewing scientific terminology in favor of language that will be crystal-clear to a primary-grade audience. The catching, killing, and eating of flies is described with a ghoulish relish appropriate to the audience: "Once the fly's insides have turned to mush, the spider can slurp it up." Also included is an overview of the many uses and forms of webs. Schindler's illustrations are a marvel of clarity and composition, varying perspective and picturing several different kinds of spiders in action. Berger's text, on the other hand, while informative, is for the most part lackluster. Also, the meticulous illustrations, sadly enough, are not labeled, so unless specific mention of a particular spider is made in the body of the text, the many others depicted will remain anonymous. These and other deficiencies make this offering an additional, rather than a necessary, purchase. Back matter provides a web-preserving activity and offers two Web sites for further consultation. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-8)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Let's-Read-and-Find-out Science Books Series
Product dimensions:
10.31(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Melvin Berger is the author of many classic LRFOs, including Germs Make Me Sick!, Oil Spills! and Why I Cough, Sneeze, Shiver, Hiccup, and Yawn, as well as other nonfiction on the Harper backlist. He lives in East Hampton, NY.

S. D. Schindler is the popular illustrator of many bestselling picture books, including How Santa Got His Job, Big Pumpkin, the Math Start title Betcha!, and the 2005 Newbery Honor Book Whittington. S. D. Schindler lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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