I love old Hollywood glamour and books that secretly convey messages to my kids at bedtime, so when I saw this book with a dandified spider and Mary Howitt’s poem, The Spider and the Fly, I was instantly attracted to this cautionary book.
With DiTerlizza’s gloomy illustrations based on Howitt’s 1829 poem that warns of wolves in sheep’s clothing, this old poem is revived!
Warning to parents of children who are sensitive: The great opening line to this poem is “Will you walk into my parlor”, said the spider to the fly and it ends exactly the way it does in nature. This book makes 19th century poetry fun with its dramatic black and white artwork that resembles the days of the silent screen and fun bug pictures.
If you are not familiar with Howitt’s melancholy poem, a short summary of this popular tale would be: Spider meets Fly, Fly rejects Spider, Spider coaxes and flatters Fly, Wispy ghosts of previous victims warn Fly but Fly is dazzled by Spider’s compliments, and then the Rhett Butler of Spiders eats the beautiful flapper Fly.
The moral of the story is that people may not always be what they seem. This book is dark without ever crossing any lines and is a great tool for explaining stranger danger without ever sounding like a lecture!