Review: I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton

Im Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton

I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton (InfoSoup)

Using a great premise, this nonfiction picture book offers up lots of information on spiders. Told in first person, the narrator says that they are working to love spiders, but it just doesn’t seem to be working. They try looking more closely at them, but that doesn’t work and ends up with a spider squished on the page with the reader’s help. The next attempt goes a little better, focusing on the spiders’ eyes, webs and how they are able to walk up walls. Even the attempt to gently pet a spider ends up squished. But when a cloud of bugs invades the book, there’s only one thing that can help! Spiders to the rescue!

Barton takes the subject of arachnophobia and turns it into a clever look at spiders. The premise of the book is very engaging and gets even more so when the reader is called upon to use their own hand to squish or pet the spiders on the page. The facts shared are engaging and fascinating. They are selected to be interesting even to those struggling to love spiders. Even better, the book encourages children to take a closer look at things that scare them and shows how to approach changing your attitude.

Barton’s art has a wonderful loose quality to it that works particularly well with the zany interactions here. Her spiders are rather cute, fuzzy and googly eyed and very easy to love. Her humor is great, integrated into both her text and her illustrations. I particularly enjoyed what a human spider web made from our hair would look like as a house.

Inventive, funny and engaging, this nonfiction picture book will have you petting spiders in no time. Just be really careful not to smash them! Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.

This Week’s Tweets, Pins & Tumbls

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are cool:

Literary Coffee


8 Books That Teach Kids About the Fluidity of Gender and the Importance of Acceptance | Brightly #kidlit

8 Things I Learned Growing Up As A Black Kid Reading Books About White People #kidlit

Boy, The New Roald Dahl Logo Sucks #kidlit

The Guardian’s 2015’s best summer books for children #kidlit

Hood County Commissioners To Hear Public Comments On LGBT Children’s Books #libraries #kidlit #lbgt

I never noticed how racist so many children’s books are until I started reading to my kids #kidlit

In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out #kidlit

Italian authors ask Venice to ban their books after gay children’s stories pulled #kidlit #lgbt

LGBT children’s books survive banning attempt in Texas library #lgbt #libraries #kidlit

New York Times – ‘A Dog Day,’ ‘Ask Me’ and ‘Sidewalk Flowers’ #kidlit

Princess and the Pony Creator Kate Beaton Discovers the Universal Link Between Charming Kids, Adults #kidlit

Tales Of The Greatest Generation |SLJ Spotlight #kidlit

These Washington, D.C., Vending Machines Are Providing Free Books to Kids #kidlit

Watch. Connect. Read.: 4 Questions and 4 Sentence Starters with Marc Brown #kidlit

50 Incredible Tattoos Inspired By Books From Childhood, I want to get #20 from Lord of the a Rings =)


British Library Makes 5,400 Titles Available Online #ebooks #libraries

Half of Net Proceeds Is the Fair Royalty Rate for E-Books – The Authors Guild #ebooks

Netflix-Like Book Services Would Be Happy if You Read Less #ebooks

Joyce Carol Oates on the Intimate Joy of Reading


Community Board Approves Redevelopment Plan for Brooklyn Public Library Branch #libraries

Denver Public Library has a tiny library — on a bicycle #libraries

Getting a Bigger Piece of the Fundraising Pie | ALA Annual 2015 #libraries

Mission to make Omaha’s libraries among the best might involve moving them out of city government #libraries

As I get older, I'm always walking into things. Bookstores and libraries mostly.


Daniel Jose Older – Interview with the author of Shadowshaper | Kirkus #yalit

Five Novels That Illustrate Rape Culture #yalit

Gone Camping: Novels Set At Summer Camp #yalit

What’s hot in YA right now? Teen authors speak out! #yalit