Sunday, August 12, 2012

Children's Corner: The Spider and the Fly

You might not know it from my Children's Corner selections, but my 4-1/2 year old doctor-princess-sword-fighter has a taste for the macabre (must be hereditary), so every month when we go to the library, she requests a 'spooky book'.  The Spider and the Fly definitely qualifies as spooky.  Honestly, I think creepy might be a better qualifier.

Illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi has taken Mary Howitt's (1799-1888) traditional poem and adapted it with hauntingly beautiful black and white artwork.  He even gives it a bit of an old fashioned feel, dressing the fly and spider in chic 1920's attire.   Visually, the book is quite stunning.

Spider makes several attempts to entice the fly up to his lair and Fly wisely resists.  She has heard stories of those who have not returned from Spider's... and the ghosts of his past victims are ever present floating through the story.  The Spider is cunning and persistent though, and finally his flattery wins him his prey.

It's certainly a good cautionary stranger-danger story although I don't know how much my daughter is actually abstracting from it.  More than anything though, it is fantastically macabre and has been one of Kidlet's favorite reads out of this months batch of library books.  I have a feeling this book will become a permanent addition to her bookshelf.



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