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I'M TRYING TO LOVE SPIDERS by Bethany Barton Kirkus Star


by Bethany Barton ; illustrated by Bethany Barton

Pub Date: July 7th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-670-01693-8
Publisher: Viking

What if “trying” not to hate spiders doesn’t quite cut it?

Barton’s Jekyll-Hyde treatise on the much-maligned Araneae features splat marks throughout in mute testimony of the narrator’s failure to come to terms with the positive attributes of her nemesis. The endpapers boast a colorful representation of these eight-legged phobia-targets, while the text offers accessible, classroom-friendly factoids. There is no name for the type used—because there is no type used. Wild, freehand lettering screams at readers in direct proportion to the escalating hysteria generated by spiders ambling across exclamation point–splattered pages. As the narrator shudders toward détente, (most) readers will gradually acquire a burgeoning respect for these industrious arthropods. After all, each spider on the planet (if not squished) can be responsible for eliminating over 75 pounds of bugs in a single year! They walk on ceilings thanks to their scopulae (look it up), and they are sneaky stealth masters. Spiders are “BUG NINJAS.” Barton’s wacky ink and digital artwork is simultaneously cringe-worthy and cackle-inducing—and very splattery.

Both arachnophobes and arachnophiles will find useful debate fodder squashed within these pages.

(Picture book. 3-12)