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Children's LiteratureSquash is a young spider who loves jumping out at people to scare them. This book will do nothing to alleviate a reader's fear of spiders. In reality, spiders are probably more scared of people than humans are of spiders. Yet in this book, a young spider named Squash loves jumping out at people just to enjoy their frightened screams. He jumps out of Billy's sandwich. At story time, he jumps out of Billy's teacher's book. He jumps out of a bag of potato chips at lunch time. Billy's friend, Jo is the only one not scared of Squash. As she rescues Squash out of the bag of chips, the young spider flies up her sleeve and out the other arm hole. Jo gets ready to step on Squash and the spider pleads for his life. In return, Squash promises to never scare anyone again. The plot of this story is pretty weak and even the youngest child with an interest in arachnids will catch the illustrator's big mistake. Most spiders have eight eyes not two. Originally published in England, the text has not been altered for the U.S. market. American children might wonder why the potato chips are called "crisps" and the TV is called the "telly." 2005, David Fickling Books/Random House, Ages 5 to 7.
—Sally J. K. Davies