Friday 3 June 2011

The Spider and the Fly

"Step into my Parlour" said the Spider to the Fly. 

Even if you don't know Mary Howitt's original dark poem warning of the dangers of falling for a silver tongued devil, you must have heard it paraphrased so many times in popular culture. This book takes the text of the original poem and laces it with some of the silkiest monochrome illustrations I've ever seen in a children's book. Tony DiTerlizzi has called on various artistic references and sources, but his work mostly seems to riff on 1920s and 30s Hollywood movies. 

The spider is your typical brylcreem-haired moustachioed movie baddie, the fly a dainty and beautiful flapper. We follow their tale as Spider uses his charm and wit to tempt the fly to join him for dinner. Her last dinner. 

Does he succeed? Does Fly come to her senses at the last moment? You know what I'm going to say - you'll have to read the book and if you do, you're in for a feast for the eyes. This week I let Charlotte choose 7 books from the library and in all but one case she opted for something slightly macabre or sinister (this book, 3 about dragons, 2 about monsters and one lonely book about a girl who wants to be herself - stay tuned for more reviews soon...!)

Charlotte's best bit - The Ghost Flies

Daddy's favourite bit - The artwork - so good you'd love it on your wall. 

Rating - 5 out of 5