[I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. No other compensation was received.]
Seaver the Weaver is an inspired and unconventional story of an unusual orb spider who weaves beautiful, original, and highly effective webs.
Once upon a time there were some lovely and very friendly looking orb spiders. All but one of them wove their obligatory round webs. These webs were elegant, perfect, and completely empty. But Seaver was different, and received his inspiration from the vast and awe-inspiring night sky, and wove not orb-shaped webs, but triangular, orthogonal, and hexagonal webs. These webs were unique, different, and always filled with a delectable dinner guest.
His brothers and sisters would look at his different webs and ask him, “What is that?” with various inflections. Then they would declare that if he wanted to be an orb weaver, then he would have to weave circular webs. Seaver admits that he likes the shapes of his different webs, but also acknowledges that his siblings do have a point. He comes up with a very clever geometric compromise — to both his and his famished siblings’ delight.
The illustrations, which look like a cross between charcoal and woodblock, are bewitching and transfixing. The friendly and alluring looking spiders make an oft-feared arachnid warm and inviting without ever being goofy or dopey. The nighttime scenes of the moon and stars paired with the sparse, skilled text create a perfect bedtime story. It leaves you smiling and quietly content.
My son found it thrilling that every time Seaver said he was going to go “tend to his guest” that what he really meant was he was going to eat them. My son would actively call out Seaver and tell me that, “He’s not tending to them! He’s going to eat them!” This led to a delicious conversation about euphemisms and putting a nice spin on unpleasant-sounding things.
I love reading this story to my son at night. It gives us a few laughs, reinforces geometry and important life lessons, inspires some great questions and observations, but makes us feel quiet and content at the end. From the dedication to the last sentence, the whole experience of reading this book feels wholly and perfectly complete.
I hope you get a chance to check it out. It’s wonderful!
Also: There’s a giveaway on Goodreads for Seaver the Weaver until March 17th, 2015. Good luck!
Ages 2 to 6. Mighty Media Press. March 17, 2015. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-1938063572 Fiction.
Where to Get it:
You Should Read Seaver the Weaver because:
- I like it. It is unique.
- It’s about a spider who weaves triangles, squares, and hexagons despite the peer pressure he faces to weave circles. Oh, and his geometric weaving is excellent at luring guests into his web.
- His brothers and sisters tell him to be more like them — and he listens to them and thinks about it — but does decide that being himself is just how it is going to be.
- Seaver handles criticism and peer pressure very well. He acknowledges what they say, but doesn’t take it on. Which can be very hard to do when facing your siblings, no?
- When his siblings need help and seek his advice on how to make effective webs, he graciously helps them. I’m sure he did do the I-was-right/told-you-so dance (in private), but that’s not shown in the story.
- This book reinforces ideas of geometry and geometric shapes such as triangles, squares, and hexagons. You can then write points on a piece of paper or do connect the dots to show how points can be connected to create shapes.
- These are some of the friendliest spiders I’ve ever seen! Complete with happy human-like faces and even a tongue sticking out in happy anticipation — they are adorable!
- The illustrations by The Brothers Hilts are gorgeous! They compliment and expand the text giving subtle and often humorous clues to the story.
- This story shows someone being inspired, following that inspiration, facing criticism, politely and kindly considering their point, and then being true to himself. This is a huge and important lesson for everyone in whole world to learn! What a genuinely thoughtful and important idea to share with children and their families.
Author and Illustrator Websites:
More Reviews of this Book:
- Publishers Weekly
- Kirkus Reviews
- Babybookish (– whose son had a very similar reaction to mine about Seaver “tending to his guest.” It made me smile.)
Where Obtained: I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit. It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”