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Are You a Spider? (Backyard Books) Paperback – May 16, 2003


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Are You a Spider? (Backyard Books) + Are You a Bee? (Backyard Books) + Are You an Ant? (Backyard Books)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Series: Backyard Books
  • Paperback: 31 pages
  • Publisher: Kingfisher; Reprint edition (May 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753456095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753456095
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.2 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Two attractive introductions to creatures likely to be found in backyards and empty lots. Beginning with the title questions, the simple, conversational texts go on to present various facets of the lives of the featured animals. As newly hatched butterflies, readers are reassured, "Your wings are crumpled. They look terrible. Don't worry." As spiders, they are warned, "If you catch a wasp in your web, don't try to eat it." Ultimately, readers are returned to human childhood and given a couple of pages of extra data about their fanciful incarnations. The softly colored, realistic illustrations depict caterpillars/butterflies and spiderlings/spiders going about their daily lives, keeping step with the text, and the focus comes back to a group of children at the close. Small carps-the butterflies have a pair of parents; the spiders only a mother. Neither species is identified, and some spiders do not spin elaborate webs. These titles are somewhat reminiscent of Mick Manning's equally engaging A Ruined House (1996) and Karen Wallace's Red Fox (1994, both Candlewick). Readers will find Butterfly and Spider comforting and helpful, with touches of humor scattered throughout.
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Reviewed with Judy Allen's Are You a Butterfly?

Ages 4-6. From the Backyard Books series, which debuted this spring with Are You a Ladybug? and Are You a Snail? , come two more volumes that lead children to imagine themselves as small, familiar animals. Butterfly begins with the egg, followed by the caterpillar, the chrysalis, and the emergence of the butterfly. The text, informal and engaging, talks the child/animal through its metamorphoses: "Your wings are crumpled. They look terrible. Don't worry. Hang upside down from your chrysalis." In Spider , the narration addresses a newly hatched spider, instructing it in the art of spinning thread and creating a proper web, and warning it to watch out for birds and wasps. Humphries' artwork, colorful and precise, offers large-scale pictures just right for sharing with preschool and primary-grade classes. Two fine additions to an informative and enjoyable nature series for young children. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


More About the Author

Judy Allen is an award-winning author whose novel Awaiting Developments won the Whitbread Children's Novel Award. Judy Allen and illustrator Tudor Humphries created Kingfisher's award-winning Backyard Books series and many other successful books, including the Reading Rainbow selections Tiger and Seal.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
I bought quite a number of books from this series.
J. Patterson
Has been great for preschooler, early elementary age child regarding understanding material and encouraging interest in science.
Dad of one
They are very simple to read, yet very educational and very funny.
D. Reed

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jay3fer on May 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
These "Are you a...?" books all present sound backyard science in plain kid-speak, inviting early readers to enter the spider's world in a humourous and engaging way.
My daughter, who's 6, and a beginning reader, loves the way these books don't talk down to her. They're easy, but not babyish -- just the right combination for building a love of reading that will last a lifetime!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on June 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"Are You a Spider?", by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries, is a good book for children. The collaborators use a simple text and appealing, colorful illustrations to describe the lives of spiders.
The text opens, "Are you a spider? If you are, your mother looks like this and spins webs." The reader is thus invited to put herself/himself into the spider's place. The book illustrates the process of building a web, and shows other essential aspects of a spider's life. Overall, a very informative and enjoyable book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Reed on December 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This line of children's books are amazing. Each one begins with the question, "Are you a Spider?" or slug or bee or whatever. It continues, "If you are, then you were born like this, and you grow up like such, and this is how you catch your food" and on through the life cycle. They are very simple to read, yet very educational and very funny. At the end the book concludes that the reader is, in fact, probably not a spider, but a human boy or girl, and, thankfully, will never, ever, have to wrap up a bug and eat it! The last 2 pages contain fun and interesting facts about spiders. After reading this one I immediately went out and bought every book in the series for my niece. They will be suitable to be read to children too young to read themselves, but also for children of all ages. This is the kind of book you will discover in your attic 20 years later, and still enjoy-re-reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dad of one on September 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We have ordered the majority of the Backyard books for our daughter who loves science. Good explanation, fair illustrations. Has been great for preschooler, early elementary age child regarding understanding material and encouraging interest in science. Our favorites are "Are you a Ladybug" and "Are you a Butterfly" but all books have been informative and fun to read! We have even learned quite a bit as parents and one of us actually has a science background.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Patterson on July 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this series. They are written in a creative and interesting manner that will draw a young reader in. They tell the information by asking questions. At the end it of the book it brings the child to understand their attributes as well. I bought quite a number of books from this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Broleman on December 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an enjoyable book. I use it in my Pre K classroom when we study bugs. Vivid pictures! Love it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paulie on November 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The children I presented the spider lesson to just LOVED the book!!! Most of the children from several different age groups could tell how they were not spiders:) They were spontainious to answer "no" to the facts in the book, as well as, ask their own questions. It certainly was a great way to introduce the topic of spiders. I am looking forward to reading it with my granddaughter who is 3 1/2 years old :)
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