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Silk and Venom: Searching for a Dangerous Spider
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Silk and Venom: Searching for a Dangerous Spider

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  19 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Join a researcher on a passionate hunt for poisonous spiders, captured in the engaging prose and stunning photos of a masterful team.

Love them, hate them — spiders are feared and misunderstood by many, but certainly not by biology professor and arachnologist Greta Binford. Eager and willing to share her knowledge, she allowed New York Times best-selling author Kathryn Lask
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Candlewick Press (first published February 8th 2011)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Ok, I'm a little squeamish around the bigger, juicier-looking spiders, but Lasky made them seem really interesting to the point where I forgot my squeamishness. Some of them actually were beautiful, and you can't help but admire their survival strategies. I had no idea that the species was so old. Lasky focuses on one particular species of spider, Loxosceles, the brown recluese, the object of a search in the Dominican Republic by arachnologist Greta Binford. Lasky takes us along with Greta on he ...more
Ms. Yingling
Feb 20, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it

Scientist Greta Binford studies spiders, and is especially interested in the highly poisonous Loxosceles, or Brown Recluse spider. She travels all over to find a sizeable population of them to study, searching through abandoned houses, in trees and bushes, and eventually finds some in the Dominican Republic. This book follows her investigation, and provides a lot of facts about spiders and the study of spiders along the way, illustrating this information with fantastic close-up photographs.
Jul 11, 2011 Cathy rated it really liked it
Nonfiction Detectives- Book Review

Spiders get a bad rap in the animal world; they’re often seen as dangerous and scary. Silk & Venom: Searching for a Dangerous Spider helps remove the stigma associated with arachnids. The book follows scientist, Greta Binford, on her quest to locate the Loxosceles spider in the Dominican Republic. By discovering the species on the island of Hispaniola, Binford hopes to prove her theory that spiders crossed a land bridge million of years ago. Lasky describes
Karen Ball
Nov 08, 2011 Karen Ball rated it really liked it
The ability to adapt to a wide variety of habitats. A tool kit filled with an array of silks. Venomous fangs. Sensitive, hairy legs. Put it all together, and you’ve got a survivor: the spider.
Scientist Greta Binford has a theory that a certain species of spiders, the venomous recluse (Loxosceles) traveled over a land bridge millions of years ago. If she can locate them in the Caribbean, it will give her more evidence to prove her theory. Author Kathryn Lansky and photographer Christopher G. Knig
Mar 08, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-nonfiction, 2012
Greta Binford is a professor of biology and an arachnologist. This book follows Greta from a child fascinated with bugs and spiders in rural Indiana to a professor researching a specific type of spider. The book has excellent photographs and the text explains Greta's hypothesis and her research in a way that will appeal to middle school students. The reader follows Greta as she develops a scientific question, refines it, and travels the world researching the answer. Boys who gravitate to nonfict ...more
May 28, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fantastic book about spiders, with a focus on a search for the brown recluse spider. It's a true story of one scientist's expedition to find specimens, backed up with information about both spiders and the evolution of the species. Other spiders are depicted and described and all are very cool to look at. We really enjoyed reading about the spiders and I hope that we are all a little more tolerant and fascinated by these ubiquitous creatures.

interesting quote:

"Much of the world is unk
Little Kid Reaction: I let my neighbor’s daughter look at this book. She wasn’t too interested in spiders but she showed it to some boys she knows and they loved it.

Big Kid Reaction: The photography and information in this book are very good. I found the book fascinating. This is enjoyable for reading and would also be valuable for school research projects.

To read our full review, go to The Reading Tub.
Feb 25, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-review
Interested in the Brown Recluse Spider? If you answered yes or you know some one that is a spider fanatic then this book is highly recommended. Very well presented story of a researcher's life long search for this spider with lots of pictures and information to satisfy spider enthusiasts' appetites.
Oct 29, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it
Although this book is not part of the Scientists in the Field series, it is just as well-written and will probably appeal to the same crowd. I loved following Greta Binford's search for a particular species of recluse spider and learned quite a bit about spiders along the way.
Jeanne Mcpeak
Jun 11, 2013 Jeanne Mcpeak rated it liked it
Many excellent high quality pictures of different spiders are included in this book. The contents are very informative, but are a bit long and boring at points. This would be a good book for an older child who is interested in spiders and how researchers examine them in the lab.
Edward Sullivan
Interesting and informative book focusing on an arachnologist's search for a venomous spider. Great photographs. Format and style is very much like Houghton Mifflin's Scientists in the Field series.
Jul 14, 2011 Betsy rated it liked it
One Sentence Review: I'm normally a Lasky fan but this particular science title just didn't do it for me, and will be of little use to student readers.
Nov 22, 2011 Jason rated it liked it
Shelves: travel, non-fiction
In preparing to visit the Dominican Republic I thought this would be an interesting book to read. The photos gave me the creeps!
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Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest book, Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 15: The War of the Ember, was released on November 1, 2008. Guardians of Gahoo ...more
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