Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Spider and the Fly

As you all know, Halloween is quickly approaching.  Do you have any spooky stories to read to the kids?

If not, I highly recommend The Spider and the Fly (c. 2003) based on the cautionary tale by Mary Howitt and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi.

First of all, Mary Howitt penned the original poem "The Spider and the Fly" in 1829.  And, truth be told, this spooky tale employs an educational purpose of teaching children about the webs that flattery casts.  Think of that age old Biblical proverb "charm is deceitful . . . "

Now, consider this same lesson set against the backdrop of a 1920s haunted mansion.  DiTerlizzi received the Caldecott Honor for his illustrations, which he describes as inspired by "classic Hollywood film noir."  The only warning I would submit is this: DiTerlizzi's mesmerizing illustrations threaten to entice its viewers into minutes, possibly hours, of study and sighs.  Like a magician, the spider pulls quite a hat trick.

Update 10/31/11: Hi, readers!  Just wanted to let you in on a brief update: Nana went to her school library to borrow their copy (since I had hers) to read to her class.  Problem was it was worn out!!!  Seriously!  The librarian is presently ordering a new copy for her little eager readers.  Check it out for yourselves, I'm convinced you won't be disappointed!


  1. Those illustrations are just delightful! My daughter loves all things spooky, although my older son does not :) Go figure! Oh, how I wish I could get my hands on this book :) Hope you all had a great Halloween celebration! XOLaura

  2. I got so excited about this book, I forgot to thank you for linking up to October's Post Of The Month Club! Thank you :) XOLaura

  3. Wow - look at those illustrations - amazing!
    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. So glad to have found your blog as I have a 3 year old and a 4 year old and we love books. And, aren't libraries just the MOST WONDERFUL places?

  4. I love books with beautiful illustrations. This looks just up my street, and my daughter's, of course!! My eye has just glanced to your sidebar and I see 'Ivy Cottage', I bought it many years ago, before I had my daughter (for the illustrations) and we both really love it and read it often. Thankyou for popping in from Laura's party and leaving such lovely remarks. Have a very happy day, love Linda x

  5. I love the whimsical illustrations.This seems like a perfect book for this time of year.