Thursday, 13 June 2013

Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss (HarperCollins Children's Books)

What do bugs and creepy crawlies get up to every day? Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss have already given us a fascinating insight into Annelid behaviour in "Diary of a Worm" but now they turn to arachnids in "Diary of a Spider" as we find out just how exciting and amazing a young spider's life can be.

Laid out like illustrated diary entries (you figured that much from the title, right?) Spider tells us all about his best friend (a fly, as it happens!) and his adventuresome Grandad who loves to travel the world on the tradewinds, suspended from a long line of silken thread.

Charlotte is obsessed with all things that creep and crawl at the moment (at school they have regular 'minibeasts' sessions, and pet snails! Lovely!) so this book was a wonderful deftly woven tale and a real joy to read. We find out what spiders fear the most (people with big feet!) and what they like to do when they're feeling a bit mischievous (yes we've all walked into your webs first thing in the morning, thank you spiderfolk!)

Best of all, there's a really neat little understated back story telling us how spiders and flies were once enemies but are now friends. Pick at that backstory for a while, and Grandad's involvement. Neat little allegory that and something you'll blink and miss if you're not careful.

A brilliant book for your bug fiends!

Charlotte's best bit: Grandad claiming he flies around the world (but actually cheats and sets up a web in comfy first class compartments on aeroplanes instead!)

Daddy's favourite bit: That backstory. Subtle and clever. Love it when children's authors do things like that. Nice one Doreen!