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Spartacus the Spider Hardcover – September 1, 2010
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From School Library Journal
PreS–Little Spartacus feels like a failure because of the poor quality of the silk he produces for his webs. Inspired by a passing mouse's news of some scientists who are trying to duplicate the texture of spider threads in order to create strong cables, he doubles and triples his thread until he has spun “the strongest string a spider ever spun.” Excited, at first, when it catches every insect that flies in, he soon worries that he will catch too much: “The world would become a giant terrifying net. Unbreakable for eternity.” So the little spider happily returns to spinning less-formidable webs. Familiar woodland animals–squirrel, mouse, crow, fly, and spider–are portrayed in roundheaded, pop-eyed cartoon style. Spartacus wears a collanderlike Roman helmet and carries a tiny shield and a spear made of fork tines affixed to a stick, but discards them in the end. Huge close-ups of the spider, mouse, and moth add an interesting variation to the illustrations. Would a hungry little spider that learns to spin a stronger web give up its newfound ability to catch food? This odd anthropomorphic tale offers neither an apparent moral nor a lesson of life, and it doesn't work as pure entertainment.–Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Top customer reviews
WHY would a spider who learned to make great webs be the downfall of the entire earth, I'll never know. To have such a high opinion of himself is quite silly. Then to feel awful about his unique and amazing talent. To be great at it is wrong? The message this book sends is not one most parents want to send.
The book ends with a smiling spider who prefers to make webs that don't work. It left us wondering how he was going to survive? It seemed like there needed to be an ending, because the one we read really wasn't/couldn't possibly be how it ends!
This breaks my heart but one star for this book... Because the pictures where delightful, but not enough to overpower the mediocrity of the story.