I’m Trying to Love Spiders
Author/Illustrator: Bethany Barton
Publisher: Viking, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2015
I’ll be honest. In the official spider test, I chose d. run away screaming. So thinking my attitude may need some adjustment, I decided to give this picture book a try.
It’s hard to like spiders or their relatives, scorpions and ticks. They’re just not cuddly. Almost all of them are venomous, though most cannot bite a human (note that I did not say all – a particularly disturbing thought). They use their venom to liquefy their prey, which is kind of gross even if it does rid the world of a lot of unwanted pests. And it is not particularly comforting to know that there are some 40,000 species of spiders.
For young readers, though, this book gives plenty of arachnid facts, told in a very engaging way. Several species are listed, including all kinds of fun facts, so be sure to check out the end papers. For example, did you know that the Bird-Dung Crab Spider hides in plain sight by looking like bird poop? Or that there is even a spider called the Happy Face Spider? Actually, I have to admit it. This book actually leaves me wanting to know more about spiders.
I just don’t want to get too close. As Barton is the first to admit, loving – or at least getting to know – spiders is not easy, but as she also points out, we can all keep trying.
Check out Bethany Barton’s website at: http://www.bethanybarton.com/