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Showing 1-10 of 46 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 57 reviews
on August 6, 2015
This is the spider ID book that isn't mid 2 figures or more in cost. The paper (smooth and glossy) and printing (colorful and glossy) tho made in China I do not think are inferior in quality to my 70's/ 80's Golden Guides. I recommend this for a spider ID book.

For an excellent companion book on the life of spiders- I recommend "The Tarantula Keepers Guide," by Schultz, the "bible" of keeping tarantulas. An affordable book on every aspect of a spider's long yet fragile life, from birth to injuries and sickness to death.

You maybe won't want to smash one ever again.
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on July 20, 2009
First, like all of the Golden Guides, this handy little book is written for beginners -- it introduces the science of spiders in such a way that both enthusiastic kids and interested adults are able to comprehend and appreciate the topic. Even so, it's not the lightest of reading. Here's a sample sentence from the book, picked entirely at random: "Pirate spiders are recognized by the row of strong curved setae on the front margins of the lower segments of the first pair of legs." Do a pop quiz on the next 12 people you see, and ask them what "setae" are.

What makes Golden Guides appealing to young people is the attractive illustrative style. As an illustrator and photographer, I've found that hand drawn or painted pictures tend to capture the imagination of young people and put them more at ease with text that may be more challenging. The book's illustrations are accurate, if occasionally not as crisp and detailed as one would like for identification purposes.

Another characteristic of Golden Guides is that they are most helpful for identifying a limited - although not small - number of common species. If the specimen in question isn't in the book, you may still be able to find clues as to similar species within the group so that you can go on to track down the bug or fossil or flower or spider in question. Every book has a limit, and with nearly 40,000 spider species identified worldwide, I've yet to see a definitive guide to all of them! By my estimate, this book contains about two hundred spiders and an assortment of mites, tics, and scorpions. Oddly enough, it also includes millipedes and centipedes, which are a different group of arthropods altogether.

I've been reading Golden Guides since I was a geeky little nature kid. I still have a full set of them, and whenever I give away a copy to a budding naturalist (of any age), it must be replaced. The books have been around for many years, but that doesn't mean the information is dated. The most recent revision for "Spiders and Their Kin," for example, is 2002. Interestingly, early guides are very collectible and at least one website is devoted to collecting them.

All of the Golden Guides are well written, beautifully illustrated, and they make excellent family nature guides. Grab a magnifying glass, a few Golden Guides, and Mom, Dad and the kids are ready to hit the trail!
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on July 13, 2009
I bought this book because I come across LOTS of spiders in my travels as I work. I was motivated to buy it when I came across a big red spider that looked like an engorged tick. But, as it was living in a web which I stuck my hand into by accident (YOW!) and it scared the bleepity-bleep out of me, I knew it was a spider. But what kind?

The Golden Guide to SPIDERS AND THEIR KIN is NOT a detailed guide to every species of spider on planet earth, but it does provide LOTS of information on each of the different families of spiders like ORB WEAVERS, FUNNEL-WEB SPIDERS, WOLF SPIDERS, JUMPING SPINDERS, COB-WEB SPIDERS, NURSERY WEB SPIDERS, CRAB SPIDERS, MYGALOMORPHS (Tarantulas) and many other smaller families. Also tells about uses for silk, spider "life", courtship, body parts and more. There's even a small section on how to COLLECT spiders and raise them in captivity. I'm pretty sure having a basement FULL of different kinds doesn't count as collecting OR captivity! ::::>) (that's an eight-eyed spider smile!).

Also sections on spider relatives like harvestmen (we call them Daddy Long-legs here!), scorpions, centipedes and millipedes and my favorites, the land crustaceans/woodlice. You may know them as "pill-bugs", although here in Michigan, we've always called them "pig-bugs". Why? Haven't got a clue, but that's what WE call 'em!

Even a section on my LEAST favorite arachnids--those darn TICKS! Now there's a critter I can find NO use for. Nothing makes your skin crawl like finding a tick sneaking up your leg! DOH! Hard to squish, too!

All-in-all, exactly what you'd expect from a Golden Guide. POCKET SIZED so you can carry it with you in your travels! Lots of nice artwork pictures, too. Again, this is NOT A DETAILED SPIDER SPECIES IDENTIFICATION BOOK. It's a good, general guide to help demystify the often overlooked and too often quickly stomped on spiders. Actually makes spiders seem a bit LESS scary and gives you a better appreciation for their place in the world! Of course they're still scary when those big brown, funnel-weavers that live in the basement sneak upstairs and run up your arm while you're lying on the couch watching late night TV! EGAD! Talk about making you JUMP OUT OF YOUR SKIN!

Still don't know specifically what species the big red tick-like spider I saw was, but I DO know now that it WAS a COB-WEB weaver, related to those dreaded Black Widows (but BIGGER and not poisonous)! Oh, I DID set it FREE and didn't squish it!

I'd give SPIDERS AND THEIR KIN FOUR STARS. It does what it sets out to do and does it well! Inexpensive and a great starting point if you want to learn more than the next to nothing you probably know. I learned a lot and gained a better understanding of spiders. I even learned the little jumping ones that I called zebra spiders because they have black & white stripes are really called Zebra spiders! Now I just need to get my magnifying glass to see if their eyes really are BIG like it shows in the picture!
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on May 6, 2014
This book was for our 5 yr. old grandson who is into ALL kinds of spiders. IMO he can have them all. But , what is most important is the fact that this series of books for children is the best you can give a hungry mind.The Golden Guides are not new. I`m ever so pleased to find them still in print.You will never make a bad purchase when you buy this book or any in the series.
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on December 2, 2015
I bought this for my mom and so she would have a little reference book on spiders to read over the winter. She loves it! Great illustrations are included and brief information about each creature. A good quick reference guide for a lot of different spiders.
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on August 26, 2013
I have used this book to help identify spiders around the world. This is a replacement copy for the previous ones that fell to pieces from overuse. The introduction gives a comprehensive overview of web-building, spider anatomy and behavior. The drawings are beautiful and clear. It is a great book for anyone with an interest in spiders.
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on October 1, 2013
G. Gordon Liddy wrote in his autobiography about facing and overcoming your instinctual fears by learning all you can about them. I used to be afraid of spiders and killed them all immediately. Now, after studying this book, I do not kill spiders on purpose. Instead I capture them gently, mostly in my bare hand, and release them outside the house. Peace!

This small and handy book is well illustrated and clearly explains all you need to know about these quiet eight legged insects. I just bought two of these used books on Amazon which I will happily loan out to arthropod-phobic persons.

Example quote from page 16: "fatalities from wasp and bee stings far outnumber spider bites and scorpion stings".
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on January 18, 2016
This is a nice pocket guide/reference that helps to describe some of the groups of arthropods on Earth. You can use it to identify several spider species in your backyard, home, or other locations.

Therefore, this book is useful for all ages.
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on February 8, 2015
I bought this for my son who is 8. He loves spiders and teaching everyone about them. This book has lots of info and pics packed in it. It is a smaller book like 4x6 but perfect to carry around.
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on October 17, 2013
I bought this book back in the 1970's (the copy I had had a 1953 copyright). I now have a grandson that is as fascinated with "bugs" as I am so we are exploring the insect world together. Gives lots of photos and is small enough to carry with you. It would work best for someone just starting out (as a field guide) as it cannot possibly cover all the spiders.
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