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Sophie's Masterpiece: A Spider's Tale
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Sophie's Masterpiece: A Spider's Tale

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  595 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Sophie is an artist who wants to spin beautiful creations all day long and, someday, a masterpiece. As a spider, though, Sophie has a hard time finding a welcoming place in which she can be free to live and spin. She's shooed and shuffled all over Beekman's Boardinghouse until one day she finally finds the warm, comfortable, safe home for which she always yearned -- and th ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 2001)
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4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  595 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
The cover of this book is a little off-putting. However, I am a spider lover, and I determined to look beyond the cover to the contents inside. In fact, this book teaches us to look beyond outward appearance. The illustrations are most interesting, my favorites being Sophie's colorful socks hanging on the washing line and the exquisite shawl spun from spider silk.
Biblio Curious
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: taught
I taught this to my ESL students. The photos are exquisite and the story's so moving & cute. It's about a lifespan of a spider who wants to create artistic masterpieces rather than just webs for catching prey. So it has some great themes for discussion that can be modified to be age appropriate for folks between 3-12.
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Abigail, Chandra and Annie
I am in love with this book! So beautiful, so sweet, gently humorous, totally loving--yes, I am talking about the spider, Sophie. Sophie is a very special spider with webs of rare artistry. She wants to make life beautiful for humans but they don't seem to appreciate her or her creations--until one day when she finds someone worthy of her masterpiece.
The ending brought tears to my eyes and I kept thinking about this sweet story on the way to work! Also, it made me feel some compunction for makin
Feb 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful, beautiful book. Sophie's Masterpiece is lovingly constructed with the same delicacy and care as the spider's web itself, reaching out to far corners and unexpected places with such a soft touch as to be more sensed than actually felt. E.B. White's magnificent book Charlotte's Web took a common, often-feared creature in the regular house spider and let us see it as something lovely, something to be marveled at and appreciated for its unique abilities and potential for good. S ...more
Paige Graham
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was different than I expected and I would highly recommend to a classroom teacher. Sophie was always determined no matter how many times she got swatted at and did nice things for people!
Nov 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sophie Spider spins artistic works of arts, yet the humans who inhabitat the boardingshouse where she lives do not appreciate her talent. They screech when they see her and destroy her works. As Sophie grows old, she nestles herself into a basket full of yarn. This yarn belongs to a young, poor mother who knits booties and sweaters for her baby-to-be. As money is tight, the mother has no more yarn to make a blanket. Sophie creates one last, loving, beautiful masterpiece. A blanket full of wishes ...more
Oct 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Non-Print Review from

This reading of "Sophie's Masterpiece" is read by CCH Pounder, a film and TV actress. Her voice brought to life this magical story of Sophie, a beautiful and talented spider. I played this for my students and they were completely enthralled with the story and Sophie. They wondered when she would create her masterpiece and were worried that someone would kill her before she could do so. Beautiful story and a gorgeous reading.
Recommended for a
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I used this book for an elementary school reading night. The children would go from class to class and we would share a story with them. The children loved it. Be sure and add this to your personal library. It has a beautiful message. I loved this book!!!
Kayla Cimburek
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eileen Spinelli's tale of Sophie's Masterpiece is a heartwarming story about a peculiar spider who loves to spin webs. Through Sophie's life, she encounters many different people that take her talent for granted just because she's a spider. Spinelli creates an amiable tone through her use of imagery and softly spoken words. The illustrations give a peak into Sophie's life by placing a border around them as if they are a window. The best part of the book is how the story encompasses the entire li ...more
Kaylin Matejek
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
Unlike other spiders, Sophie spins the most beautiful creations. She's sweet, passionate, and imaginative with her designs and her mom and friends are so proud of her. One day Sophie moved to the Beekman's Boardinghouse where her webs weren't quiet as appreciated. It isn't until years later that she found the comfort she had been looking for and creates her ultimate masterpiece.

Eileen Spinelli has written such a bitter-sweet, moving story. It was an absolute joy to read and Jane Dyer's illustra
Amy Layton
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
I remembered reading this at some point in elementary school, so when I came across it as I was cataloging, I took a moment to sit back and reread this sweet story.  And, oh, what a sweet story it was.  From the dainty illustrations to Sophie's utter generosity, this story is one that I hope will transcend the ages.  Partly, because this story shows just how non-violent most spiders are (and we should like spiders more than we do!), and partly because this story is one that will bring nostalgia ...more
Jaelynn Horton
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Picture Book. I would read this book again just to look at the pictures. This is definitely designed for younger children I think, just because the language isn't extremely captivating. It's got good morals about putting your heart into something and also what to do when you're outcast. Not my fave, but still good.
Alix Hawk
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Genre: Fantasy
Grade Level: 1-3
A unique aspect of this book is the way the spider is portrayed in it- instead of the main character looking like a typical spider, she looks like a human with eight legs like a spider. It really humanizes the spider and makes the reader think about the context.
Rachel Yoder
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
It doesn't completely strike me, but maybe I just can't get into fantasy.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lovely <3
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is the most perfect and most beautiful picture book I've read in a long while.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Cute. Heartwarming.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I used this book in my second and third grade class. This book tells the story about a spider named Sophie and her life's journey The photos are exquisite and truly enhance the story.
Olivia Welch
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This story is about Sophie the spider. Not just an ordinary spider though, she is an artist! The sad part is, the house that she lives in doesn't appreciate her. They don't like spiders and never give her the time of day or ever acknowledge her artwork. The woman on the third floor is the only exception. One day she is weaving something herself and runs out of yarn, and Sophie knows this is her opportunity to shine. She finally finds a spot she feels comfortable in and is able to make masterpiec ...more
Hunter Branch
Mar 29, 2016 marked it as to-read
This book is about a spider who tries to do the right thing and help people out. She tries to sew new curtains for the parlor, sew a new suit for the man, and patch the cook’s shoe, but each time she is not thanked but shooed away. Finally, after many spider years pass, Sophie settles into a young woman’s house, and instead of being shooed away, Sophie is left alone. She soon realizes that the woman that she is staying with is expecting a baby, but that there is a problem; the mother-to-be sews ...more
Oct 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I watched/listened to this story on
Sophie is an artist. She is also a house spider, but one that children will certainly cheer and not fear. The webs she weaves are spectacular--some are stars, or hammocks, or sun patterns--and her mama is very proud of her. When she grows old enough to strike out on her own, however, she is not warmly greeted by the world at large. At Beekman's Boardinghouse, a dull sort of place that "cried out for her talents," she only wants to beautify
Shianne McMinn
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Sophie’s Masterpiece is about a spider named Sophie. But she wasn’t just an ordinary spider, she was an artist. She spun all kinds of beautiful webs, and one day she set out to spin a masterpiece. She had moved to Beekman’s Boardinghouse where she begun spinning her masterpiece. But every time a human found her they would scream and swat her away and she would have to move to a new room in the Boardinghouse. Again and again she begun making a masterpiece, only to be rejected. Finally she ended u ...more
Riona Daly
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book tells the tale of a spider, Sophie who is a passionate artist. She loves to weave webs to help people out. However, she finds it difficult to be accepted into homes and once she becomes aware her presence is not wanted she moves on to find a new home. She always stays true to herself, showing no hard feelings by the treatment she is giving by the owners of the house. It is not until she walked to the third floor to the house of a young woman she finally felt at home.

By this time, howev
Nani Yanagi
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals, art, fiction
This book is about a little spider named Sophie. She was a very talented spider, who was known for her wonderful and creative spinning. As she got older, she was told that she would have to move out and find her own place. So she went looking for a new home in the landlords parlor. She atempted to make a design spinning on the wall but the landlord lady chased her out. Sophia moved upstairs to the Captains closet where she tried to make a different color coat for him, but he ended up outside on ...more
Mary Beth
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rabbit-and-bear
Okay, to be honest, I got this book out of the library for me. The cover illustration was totally MB-bait; I was utterly helpless to resist the beauty/surrealism/whimsy of Jane Dyer's arachnid heroine. Rabbit, of course, wanted to read it immediately upon our return home, along with the usual stack of requisite dinosaur/truck/fireman books. He loved it. I loved it. It is a sweetly told tale about a beautiful little artist whose work goes unappreciated for a very long time(in spider years). She d ...more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Sophie is no ordinary house spider. She is an artist, but no one around her seems to appreciate her beautiful work. Sophie's entire life she was rejected by her housemates at Beekman's Boardinghouse until one day thing change. The woman showed Sophie gratitude she had never seen. One day the woman was making a quilt for her baby when she ran out of yarn. Sophie realizes that she must put her all into her last "masterpiece." The woman loved the quilt and knew that this quilt was special and was e ...more
Moesha Crawford
The way this book was read by the author made it seem as if you are being told a bedtime story. Therefore, I believe this book is a useful too to enhance the experience of reading between a child and parent. The way this book reading was gave such a great experience of the book to the reader with the raising of voices, excitement and sad parts, it kept the reader engaged. I think this resource was the easiest e-book to use because you did not have to sign up for anything you just clicked on a bo ...more
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, and kids
Recommended to Relyn by: I love Eileen Spinelli.
Eileen Spinelli has a gift for words and story, and Jane Dyer is her perfect match. The illustrations are whimsical and dreamy, but completely realistic somehow. What a wonderful, sweet book. It feels almost like a lullaby or a love song. If you read the back cover (which the best readers always do...) you find this out: When she was a young woman... Eileen lived in a boardinghouse. There she met a young mother who couldn't afford to buy her new baby a blanket and had to use an old, brown, scrat ...more
Jul 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: reading-record
Illustrator: Jane Dyer
Age: Elementary
Summary: A spider tries to find her place in the world and has to keep moving until finally finding a place where she belongs.
Applications/Uses: Could be a good supplemental text for reading Charlotte's Web because the spider does what she needs to do and passes away just like Charlotte. It is a nice, calm story so it might be a good read for calming down a class or a before-bed story at home.
Themes/Connections: Finding your place in the world, insects, circl
Mar 07, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was "read" using Storyline Online.

Spiders are often feared by people, and the one in this story is no exception. However, she is so amazing at spinning webs that she yearns to make something more, eventually getting the chance at the end of the book. A cute and good read-aloud book, this could be read by younger elementary students for pleasure.

The reader of the story was soothing to listen to but often spoke a little too quietly, which could have been avoided by reading the book in p
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Eileen Spinelli, wife of famed children's author Jerry Spinelli, is an award winning children's book author from southeastern Pennsylvania.