We've been staying at my folk's house for a week now. It's the same home I grew up in as a child and I am reminiscing about all the fun times I had playing in the wonderful big backyard, rescuing bees from the pool, feeding the anthills sugarcubes and admiring spider webs glistening with dew in the early morning.
Author Ginger Wadsworth's latest book release Up, Up, and Away just arrived in my mother's mailbox and my son (who loves spiders)immediately snatched it from my hands and ran to the sofa to read it for us. I knew he would love this one.....especially the part where the spider "bites her prey with powerful jaws and sucks up juicy beetle guts or sips fly stew." EEEEeeewwwww!!!! ;) Ginger Wadsworth knows just how to hold a little one's attention.
The story teaches us garden spider facts
while following a little spider who searches for a home of her own. While there are a few moments that may be a little tough for a small child to grasp, (when "a brother crunches a sister for lunch" or when the mother spider "ties the egg sac tight, then dies")they are true to life and nature. These are important moments to take advantage of allowing us as parents and teachers to discuss the natural cycle of death and new life.
Patricia J. Wynne's illustrations are beautiful, bold and colorful. She depicts the Zipper Spider aka the Banana Spider of the South. We had lots of these in our garden in Virginia. I haven't come across any in So. Cal yet. They have bright yellow and black markings on their abdomens and spin silky webs with thick white zig-zags down the center.
Here's the wonderful trailer: