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SPIDERS AND THEIR WEB SITES by Margery Facklam Kirkus Star


by Margery Facklam, illustrated by Alan Male

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-316-27329-5
Publisher: Little, Brown

In this awesome look at 12 spiders and "one that's not," Facklam continues her series of natural-history titles, which includes such winners as Big Bugs (1994) and Creepy Crawly Caterpillars (1999). Filled with odd and interesting facts about how spiders spin webs, find and devour their food, reproduce, defend themselves, and escape their enemies, this will fascinate readers with enough specific detail, drama, humor, and yuck factor to appeal to a wide audience. Each spider gets a page of text and a full-color, larger-than-life portrait. A series of thumbnail illustrations in the bottom border extends the discussion and provides additional details. For example, the border for "Black Widow" illustrates four related poisonous spiders, the egg sac, and a female spider being approached by the smaller, less-colorful male. Though each spider's page demonstrates different features like camouflage, methods of catching prey, and habitat, the author describes common characteristics as well, labeling the specialized parts of spider anatomy and frequently pointing out their value. A brief glossary is included, as well as further reading. From cover to cover this is a captivating choice. (Nonfiction. 8-11)