The unseen narrator is trying, really hard, to love spiders. After all, they are amazing creatures! They practically have superpowers! They....AUGH SMASH IT SMASH IT. oops. Maybe next time?
The book is packed with factoids about arachnids, but it's also full of silly jokes, lots of yelling, and, of course, handprints for smashing if it all gets to be too much for you! Barton's messy drawings are the perfect accompaniment to this lively and wacky story, with spiderwebs, blobs of ink, spilt paint water, and the occasional smooshed bug stain spilling over the pages.
Verdict: This isn't going to be for every audience. Kids who are genuinely afraid of spiders, or a little too eager to smash every living thing that's smaller than them, are unlikely to benefit. For maximum effect, a group small enough to take turns swatting the page would be ideal as well. However, it's a delightful novelty title with a fresh approach to spiders. Purchase where interactive books (and spiders, alive or dead) are appreciated.