ONCE I KNEW A SPIDER by Jennifer Owings Dewey

ONCE I KNEW A SPIDER

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Dewey (Paisano, the Roadrunner, 2001, etc.) spins a quiet tale describing the unusually long life of a particular orb spider that lays her eggs in the window of an adobe house. An expectant mother observes the spider during the last months of her pregnancy, and in first-person narrative, she compares her time of waiting and care for her newborn daughter with the mother spider’s behavior. The spider survives through an extra winter and finally dies in the spring shortly after her sac opens, releasing “a cloud of spiderlings drifting on the breeze.” Because “her young grew up and built egg sacs of their own,” the narrator and her husband and daughter are reminded of the long-lived spider whenever they see orb weavers at work. Cassels (Earthmates, 2000, etc.) provides competent close-up illustrations of the spider, tender views of the mother and baby, and the effective repeated device of the spider’s home in an arched window. The spider life cycle is commonly studied in the early elementary grades, and this examination of an orb spider’s life cycle with detailed illustrations of each stage will serve for related literature as well as for scientific reference. An author’s note provides an additional page of facts about spiders and their behavior. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8027-8700-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2002




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