Friday, September 11, 2015


Spidermania: Friends on the Web
by Alexandra Siy; illus. by Dennis Kunkel
48 pages; ages 6-10
Holiday House, 2015

I have lots of spiders living in my garden: crab spiders, wolf spiders, jumping spiders, garden spiders.... so I cannot resist a new book about spiders.

themes: animals, nature

What I like about this book: Alexandra Siy starts right off by making sure readers know the difference between spiders and insects:
  • spiders have two body parts; insects have three
  • spiders have eight legs; insects have six
 "Spiders have lived on Earth a lot longer than humans," she writes. About 390 million years. They can be found in caves, atop mountains, in trees ... and just recently scientists in Australia have found an unexpected species of funnel-web spider. I love that Siy introduces readers to a diversity of spiders, and shows off their web skills.

I also love the illustrations - photos and brightly colored electron micrographs that show spider eyes and claws up close. This book is amazing even if all you do is look at the photos!

Beyond the book:

Take a spider walk.  What kind of spiders do you find when you're walking around your yard, in a garden, or at a park? Take along a sketch book so you can draw any cool spiders you see. Look inside flowers - you might find a colorful crab spider.

Make a spider out of egg carton sections. All you need are egg cartons, paint, pipe cleaners, and a bunch of googly eyes to glue on. Or use paper plates to make your spiders. Try painting your spider to look like one you might find in your garden - or look through a field guide to get ideas for what your spider(s) can look like. Some spiders have bright colors, spots, even stripes on their legs.

Spin a web - but instead of making your own silk you can use yarn or crochet thread. Ideas here.

Make a spider snack using bananas and pretzels. Recipe here.

Sing Eensy Weensy Spider - of course!

Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy from the publisher.


  1. Hi, Sue! We have lots of spiders, too but I have to admit I am in the 'screech when I walk through their web accidentally' camp. The spider snacks would be good for Halloween!

  2. Oo, I think this will be a winner. Kids love creepy and curious animal books. The front cover is very striking.

  3. This book is an exceptional choice. I'm not a spider expert, but I think that kids will really love this book. It's packed with the kind of information they like to know.

  4. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will be sure to check it out.

  5. Nice review! Sounds perfect for kids.

  6. Nice review! Sounds perfect for kids.

  7. I agree with Joanna on the front cover - really grabs the attention. An excellent recommendation. :)

  8. Thank you, Sue, for the great review! I hope kids will "friend" spiders after reading Spidermania. And thanks for promoting science and STEM education.