****The Spider and the Fly
by Mary Howitt
illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
Reviewed June 30, 2003.
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York,
2003. 36 pages.
2003 Caldecott Honor Book
Available at Sembach Library (J 821.8 HOW).
Here’s yet another classic poem that’s been turned into
an exceptional picture book. (Interestingly, it’s put out by
the same publisher as last issue’s Casey
at the Bat.
“‘Will you walk into my parlor?’ said the Spider to the
Fly…” the poem begins. You would think the fly would know better,
and at first she resists his invitation. However, he flatters
her lovely colors and bright eyes, and eventually she falls for his
flattery. No, there’s not a happy ending (for the fly), but, as
the spider says in an afterword, “What did you expect?” A nice
moral is drawn to beware of flatterers.
The pictures are what make this such an exquisite book.
(Though it didn’t hurt that the illustrator had a good poem to work
with!) Done in black and white, they remind the reader of an
old gothic horror film. The fly is dressed as an innocent flapper
girl, the spider a polished Victorian gentleman. My son noticed
several telling details when I read it to him.
Again, make a special trip to the poetry section to look
for this book!
Reviews of other books by Tony DiTerlizzi:
Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.
All rights reserved.
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