Sunday, August 31, 2014

When a Spider Came to Stay

When a Spider Came to Stay
Author: Rebecca Crosdale
Illustrator: Charles Berton
Create Space Independent Publishing
Amazon Digital
ISBN: 978-14006109010
e-book $ 2.99
Paperback $ 12.99
32 pages

"Along came a spider, who sat down beside her and frightened..."

Those words from the old nursery rhyme have created generations suffering from arachnophobia.  Are spiders really that frightening?   Are they a threat to humans?

Those words have terrified many a child and yes, even adults throughout the year.  Spiders with their wiggly legs, often hairy, and fanged mouths appear frightening.  In reality, most spiders really do not choose to be near humans.   Yes, spiders can appear scary, but most are harmless to humans.   However to insects, they are lethal.

When a Spider Came to Stay separates children's fears from reality.  A girl is sitting quietly in her den with a spider weaving an intricate web in the corner of the room along the ceiling.  After awhile, it quietly descends on a single silken thread to the ground where it approaches the girl and seems to sit beside the chair.  She leans to the opposite arm of the chair actually cowering in the corner of the chair.  In time, she feels a little more comfortable with the creature even attempting to talk and feed the spider.

When a Spider Came to Stay has clear and vividly colorful pictures perfectly matching the text as the girl's curiosity replaces her fear recognizing the beauty and artistry of one-small arachnid's magnificent creation even beginning to slightly alter the perspective from the spider.

With short sentences on each illustrated page, the story moves quickly in the first twenty-six pages.  Additionally there are four pages of questions for teachers and parents leading into the underlying themes not immediately revealed in the story creating a deeper understanding and realization regarding differences and acceptances of others who are different.

The approach of the author regarding fear of the unknown is clever with this parallel story of the spider.  Utilizing people's common misconceptions of ignorance through this delightful tale is a brilliant idea by the author Rebecca Crosdale while also teaching about friendship and courage.

Also unusual and wonderful is that this tale is also published in a simplified version for younger children or for those with special needs entitled The Spider in My Den with Sherry Rose Anderson as the illustrator. 

The Spider Came to Stay is a delightful small book for children of all ages teaching some life lessons for everyone.

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