Toby's Reviews > Spiders

Spiders by Nic Bishop
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Mar 09, 09

bookshelves: children-s-award-winner
Read in March, 2009

2010 Monarch Award master list
Well, for those of you who thought Nic Bishop's Frogs was gross, welcome to Nic Bishop's Spiders. Like Frogs, Spiders has 'fun' facts like they have blue blood (who knew they had blood at all?) and they liquify their prey with poison so they can drink their food. Spiders all have eight eyes, but it's clear from these photographs that they're not always arranged the same: some have 2 rows of 4, some have all 8 in a circle on top of their head, or rather, cephalothorax. Some have eyes all the same size but jumping spiders have two huge ones, like the cover spider, who also has eyelashes!
After finding out that frogs eat their skin when they molt, it's no surprise to learn that spiders 'recycle' their used silk in the same way. We also learn that male jumping spiders will dance for a female, just so long as she doesn't think he is a meal. How, I wonder, can he be sure?
Grossest picture award goes to the photo of spiderlings chewing their way out of their egg sac on their mother's back. And the Nic Bishop understatement of the series, so far? "It's lucky...that my wife is very understanding." Thanks goodness, his new book is about butterflies.
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