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*I'm Trying to Love Spiders* by Bethany Barton
I'm Trying to Love Spiders
by Bethany Barton
Ages 3-7 40 pages Viking July 2015 Hardcover    

We never see the spider-hater in this picture book, but we can see her attempts to love them.

She is not successful at first. Appearing next to interesting facts she’s written out about spiders (spiders have been around for millions of years), there is a squished spider (a splotch that resembles a black ink stain).

When she tries telling herself they have super powers (eight eyes) and disguising them to look like her favorite things (rockets), she attempts to pet them--but she presses a little too hard and squishes that one, too. However, when a spider does a favor for the narrator (it involves books), she grows to appreciate them.

Readers can put their hands on the page over the outline of the narrator’s hand to imitate the squishing or patting she does. The book ends similarly to the way it starts, but with another unpopular insect.

The front and back end pages of this book have labeled drawings of spiders. The assassin spider and the peacock spider amazed me. They looked so odd I had to look them up to see if they really exist, and they do.

I was impressed with this book’s funny story and childlike illustrations. I think it will change some people’s misconceptions of spiders and to see them in a more positive way. The poor spiders look so misunderstood in this book. You can’t help but love them a little bit.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2015 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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