Kirkus Star


With a Pop & Play Spider Model
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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An invitation to zoological investigations around the house and yard, with a gratifyingly large, detachable, pop-up spider as a special treat.

Dubbing her arthropod subjects “minibeasts” (“creepy crawlies” is so judgmental), French first suggests checking a few rooms for spiders, then venturing outdoors for further likely-to-be-successful searches for daddy longlegs, woodlice, centipedes, and millipedes. She describes each creature’s salient physical characteristics in simple but precise language, along the way tucking in both thoughtful side notes (drape a towel over a sink’s edge to allow a trapped minibeast to escape, for example) and a couple of very elementary crafts. Woodward’s realistically done paper-collage portraits give way to photos in a closing gallery of (mostly big) spiders and related wildlife…which may help prepare more-squeamish readers for the hand-sized 3-D orb weaver that can be plucked from the rear cover and opened out. Publishing simultaneously, Fluttering Minibeast Adventures takes investigators out to a pond with an insect net and a few other props to examine moths, butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies—both in adult and earlier stages of their life cycles. The featured pop-up is a stylized painted lady. In both outings the author artfully demonstrates ways of studying these animals without touching them while communicating an unforced enthusiasm for getting as close as need be to watch them in action.

Excellent first introductions to some of our planet’s most common fellow residents. (index) (Informational pop-up picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4052-7756-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Red Shed
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2016