A web designer of the eight-legged sort experiments with geometric shapes in the face of pressure from his many conformist sibs.
Being an orb spider, Seaver should weave round webs—but patterns in the starry sky inspire him to try out in succession a triangle, a square and a hexagon. Sitting on their perfect but empty round webs, the other spiders make critical comments as Seaver’s open-centered creations quickly (if counterintuitively) snag a series of bugs. “I will try harder next time,” he promises repeatedly. “But first I must tend to my guest.” The illustrations, which resemble paper collages on unevenly colored backdrops of either dark blue or mustard brown, feature spiders with faces human enough to include a view of Seaver smiling and licking his chops as he goes to “tend” an insect “guest.” After Seaver’s latest web, a combination of shapes, snags a swarm of mosquitoes, starvation brings the other spiders around to asking Seaver to teach them how to weave “such marvelous shapes,” and the episode closes with a buggy banquet. Though the patterned prose is stiff as a board (“I like my web. It is unique”), young readers with artistic visions of their own will applaud Seaver’s successful paradigm change.
A salutary tribute to the benefits of thinking outside the orb. (Picture book. 6-8)