Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Diary of a Spider

Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Harry Bliss, 2005

Doreen Cronin has penned another wonderful "diary." Like her Diary of a Worm Cronin has interwoven facts with whimsy. We learn that spiders are NOT insects and they molt. Spider is friends with Worm from the previous book and also with Fly although his Grampa says in HIS day spiders and flies did not get along.

In school young spiders are warned about the dangers of vacuums and have vacuum drills.

"If we hear a vacuum we should "Stop Drop and Run!"

When they say the Pledge of Allegiance, their flag is a panel from a Spiderman comic book showing the American flag. The clever illustrations by Henry Bliss add additional humor. As in Diary of a Worm, the endpapers are full of great vignettes, "Favorite book: Charlotte's Web." The illustration depicting Spider's attempt to see-saw in the park is inventive and fun as we see it from Spider's perspective.

This book is a natural pick for elementary school libraries and teacher gifts. The two diaries would also be a "must-have" for junior high libraries to complement life science units. My former students tell me they are never read to anymore once they get to junior high. Class periods are only about 50 minutes long so Cronin's books would fit perfectly and work well with any curriculum. Her Duck for President is essential for social studies teachers during presidential election years.

After reading this book I will NEVER forget that spiders are NOT insects and that they have *correction* eight legs. There is so much to see in the pictures and the text is so entertaining you will want to read it again and again.

Doreen Cronin website


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review! Diary of a Worm is a new one for us, and one of the summer's big hits here. We've got Diary of a Spider on request from the library.

Camille said...

I bet the next book is Diary of a Fly. The Fly is so funny.