The Spider and the Fly (Illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi)

The Spider and the Fly (Illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi)

by Tony DiTerlizzi, Mary Howitt
4.7 20


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The Spider and the Fly (Illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi) by Tony DiTerlizzi, Mary Howitt

"'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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780689852893
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 10/01/2002
Edition description: Repackage
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 200,707
Product dimensions: 11.24(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.45(d)
Age Range: 6 - 9 Years

About the Author

Mary Howitt was born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1799. With her husband, William Howitt, she wrote more than 180 books, including the poem The Spider and the Fly: An Apologue: A New Version of an Old Story, which first appeared in The New Year’s Gift.

Tony DiTerlizzi is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator who has been creating books with Simon & Schuster for fifteen years. From his fanciful picture books like Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, Adventure of Meno (with his wife, Angela), and The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like Kenny and The Dragon and The Search for WondLa, Tony always imbues his stories with a rich imagination. His middle grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Holly Black), has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in more than thirty countries. You can visit him at

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4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
....and I wish they had! I only got to flip through it one day at B. Dalton, but it blew me away. I was fully expecting some corny, badly illustrated, wishy-washy kids' book, but this was GREAT! Not only was the illustrations FABULOUS, but the storyline was wonderful, even if a bit macabre. It was more in the line of actual old time Fairy Tales-- you know, the kind that had cautionary undertones? This is like a journey back to those kinds of tales, and it was awesome, completely awesome-- even if it's a childrens' book, I'd buy it, just to look at it and read it again.
Autumn2 More than 1 year ago
K picked this book up from his school library and I was impressed.  First this was a bit above his reading level to truly understand some of the words and their meanings. But we both enjoyed the story none the less.This is a book that I believe I need to keep a copy on my bookshelf, it is dark and I liked that. I liked how there were not words that K knew and he was willing to learn the definition  of some of the words. I think that this is a good way to build up some new words in a child's vocabulary if they need it. There weren't many but just a few.  K asked me about why there was no color and I had no response as to really why. The only thing I could come up with is it is more scary and goes perfect with the telling of the Spider and the Fly.  I would say maybe the younger kids might be scared of the pictures and the tone of the story but it would be up to you to decide that. K is 8 and wasn't scare he actually enjoyed it a lot more than I expected him to. 
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
First confession:  I own two copies of the Tony DiTerlizzi illustrated version of The Spider and the Fly; one I bought in 2002, and one I just bought last month.  I wouldn't let my young son "read" my 2002 version of The Spider and The Fly because I wanted to keep it pristine.  Now I will just keep the 10th Anniversary Edition to myself.  Pretty much everyone knows the opening lines to The Spider and The Fly, and with good reason; they are pretty amazing first lines.  The rest of the poem, although seldom quoted, is just as great. The Spider and the Fly was my initial introduction to Tony DiTerlizzi's artwork, and I've been a fan of his work ever since.  There is a bit of Rackham, Gorey, and Brian Froud living in his work, but the combination is pure DiTerlizzi.  Second confession:  I bought the original The Spider and the Fly long before I was a mom.  I wasn't even married.  I just really, really wanted the book because of the black and white, film noir illustrations.  And the fly looked very much like my younger sister, Luna, at the time (although, she does only have two arms and two legs.) Third confession:  For the Hallowe'en party of the library in 2006, my fellow librarian, Louise, and I did a Reader's Theater version of this book.  We pre-recorded the dialogue and acted it out in costumes for the kids at the party.  Louise was the spider.  I was the fly. 
John-GaltMN More than 1 year ago
Classic poem, superb illustrations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jflore27 More than 1 year ago
The Spider and the Fly is a book that contains beautiful and detailed illustrations within its pages. The black and white pictures correlate with the story about a spider who attempts to lure an innocent fly into his parlor for his own purposes. The story has a meaning behind the text, teaching the readers to stay safe when encountering a stranger. Although The Spider and the Fly has a questionable ending, the story and illustrations will not disappoint. The reader will have a fun time reading the story to his/her child while learning the important message the book sends out to its readers. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to share a well written and illustrated bedtime story with their child.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I was a little kid I would sit and read this over and over again. I've always loved this kind of stuff, it reminds me of something Tim Burton might do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You know the story, but DiTerlizzi brings a new dimension by using "Flapper Era" dress and the whole damsel in peril thing. Very fun. Lots of great detail and wit in the pictures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has wonderful artwork to compliment it's well written story. The message is very clear and important on the negative effects of vanity. We love reading it to our daughter and she loves the pictures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aidda More than 1 year ago
Although written as a if a story for younger children the story of The Spider and The Fly is a metaphor to a certain type of person all people will met in life. This type of person is personified by the spider in the way he treats the fly. This short story made using a rhyming poem has beautiful black and white drawings and gives a warning while still being very entertaining.

The poem can be found free online by searching The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt if parents are concerned with its suitability for their child.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a Caldecott Honor Book in 2003. It is appropriate for ages 5-8. I think all kids will enjoy this dark tale of how hard a spider must work to capture its prey. This book is very well written from the perspective of a spider. During the story you see how the spider weaves its web and then waits for the unsuspected fly to fall into the web. Once the fly is helpless then the spider can have its lunch! Once the spider has captured the fly the spider says, ¿with buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew, thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue-thinking only of her crested head-poor, foolish thing!¿ The author shows such creativity in the way this story is written I feel all kids will enjoy reading or having this story read to them. Mary Howitt is the original author of this story. The story is retold and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. Mary Howitt was born in 1799 in England and was linked to such famous authors as Dickens, Tennyson, and Browning. She retired in 1870 to Italy where she died in 1888. Tony DiTerlizzi is a relative newcomer to the world of children¿s literature. He is the author and illustrator of two picture books, Ted and Jimmy Zangwow¿s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure as well as the illustrator of Tony Johnston¿s Alien & Possum beginning-reader series. DiTerlizzi, Tony. The Spider and the Fly. New York: Simon & Schuster Children¿s Publishing Division, 2002.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Caldecott Honor Book retells the original poem by Mary Howitt done over one hundred years ago. It is illustrated by Tony Diterlizzi. Tony¿s artwork has been featured on the popular Magic. He has also written and illustrated two books of his own. The black and white illustrations enhance this original classical tale. Has your parents ever told you to be aware of strangers? In this tale an innocent fly is charmed by a sneaky spider. The spider invites the fly into his parlor. The fly has heard all about the spider, but she still falls for him. The book says, ¿He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den. Within his little parlor- but she ne¿er came out again¿. DiTerlizzi, Tony. The Spider and the Fly. New York: Simon & Schuster. Reading level: Ages 5-8
Guest More than 1 year ago
A true adaptation of a poem 100 years old. The illustarions are divine and have a delightful impact on an already classic poem. Although the illustration and story can sem frightening, there is a short epilogue that plays the moral through. Excellent read for adults and children alike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic! Creepy but masterful illustrations frame Mary Howitt's long-loved cautionary tale in verse. Morals can sometimes end up ruining a book--but not so here. It's rare to find a picture book where the moral is balanced so delicately with excellent illustrations and good verse. The whole thing plays out like those overly dramatic silent movies of old--and the effect is timeless. The spider is a true villain and the fly a hapless victim (who had plenty of warning signs so as to temper your pity). Don't look for happy endings here, but do look for humorous handling of the grisly finale. The warning is perhaps more true today than it was in Ms. Howitt's time: There are creeps in the world who will woo you with wonderful words only to wrap you in their wicked web. So take heed my dears and buy the Spider and the Fly!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a delicious book! What a dashing villain! The pictures are amazing--the closer you look at them, the more creepy details are revealed. A book to read over and over again.