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The Spider and the Fly Hardcover – Picture Book, October 1, 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 721 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Howitt's 1829 cautionary poem of a fly's risky entanglement with her perfidious predator springs to cinematic life amid silver-sheened black-and-white illustrations by an artist well known for his work on the Magic: The Gathering trading cards. Gouache images that seem to glow in the dark deftly recall the silent film era, craftily luring in readers even before the tale's famous opener, " `Will you walk into my parlor?' said the Spider to the Fly." An exterior view of a darkened mansion, its sole light coming from an attic window, gives way to a close-up of the same window as a petite dragonfly in flapper attire (complete with fringed dress, long gloves and flower-petal parasol) peers inside at Spider's lair: a Victorian dollhouse set amid cobwebby attic treasures. With an arsenal of Vincent Price expressions, the well-heeled Spider uses food and flattery to entice his guest into staying within his walls. Some of the text appears periodically against a framed black backdrop, … la silent movie captions, while a silvery web is progressively woven in the background. Finely detailed scenes foreshadow Fly's demise with subtle, Charles Addams-esque humor that, while it may escape younger readers, will tickle the Lemony Snicket set. (In one scene, previous insect victims, now ghosts with their feet hovering above the floor, hold up a copy of The Joy of Cooking Bugs, in a vain warning to Fly.) DiTerlizzi has spun a visual treat that young sophisticates and adults alike will enjoy. Ages 6-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-6-Most people are familiar with Howitt's poem, but DiTerlizzi's art raises this hackneyed classic to a new level. Rendered in black-and-white gouache and pencil, then reproduced in silver-and-black duotone, the paintings have a spooky quality perfectly suited to retelling this melancholy tale. Ms. Fly, with her whimsical flower umbrella and Roaring '20s attire, captures the flavor of an old-time Hollywood heroine. Her nemesis, seated on his Victorian chair, is dressed like a pasha in silk robe and slippers (six, of course) or resplendent in tails, top hat, and spats; he is clearly a dastardly fiend cloaked in splendid apparel to dazzle his victim. Wispy, transparent, ghostly shapes haunt the eerie mansion; the white print on the black pages stands out against the shadows creeping across each spread. All of these elements foreshadow the fly's untimely demise. With its tragic ending, heavy moralizing, and sophisticated artwork, this book will appeal to older children as well as to adult fans of old horror movies. This title is worth purchasing for its valuable artwork alone.
Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Repackage ed. edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0689852894
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0689852893
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 3 - 7 years, from customers
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ NP
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 1 - 4
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.18 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 11 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 721 ratings

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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