CM . . . . Volume XX Number 3 . . . . September 20, 2013
Do You Know Spiders? combines factual information about spiders with cartoons that provide a satirical or comical take on the facts. Each two-page spread features one cartoon (think Gary Larson's The Far Side) and one or two factual sentences. Though there is a depth of knowledge about spiders provided, the cartoons feature more prominently on each spread, and the reading order of speech bubbles or factual text can be confusing.
The illustrations are in full colour and are very detailed in their depiction of insects. The book contains a glossary and an index; however, the index seems unnecessary in a book of 64 pages with only a few sentences on each page. While some jokes transfer well in a single illustration, others are not funny or difficult to understand. Originally written in French and translated to English, perhaps the jokes simply do not translate well.
Though the ages suggested for this material in the publicity information suggests 7+, the vocabulary within the book would be more appropriate for 10+. The jokes may also be more accessible to an older audience.
There are three other titles currently available in the "Do You Know?" series (toads, crocodiles and chameleons) with four more set to release in Fall 2014 (porcupines, rats, leeches, and crows).
Kate Hachborn is a library technician at the W. Ross Macdonald School in Brantford, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.