Spiders (Scholastic Reader, Level 2: Nic Bishop #2) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-10-10 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 9 user ratings

"“Spiders were hunting long before lions and tigers. They were hunting even before Tyrannosaurus rex.” Nic Bishop’s book Spiders, a 2008 Sibert Honor Book and winner of several other awards/honors, not only provides a plethora of details about the tiny insects, it also gives an up-close and personal look at a variety of species. The photos are appropriate for all ages that do not mind seeing spiders, yet the text is appropriate for students in grades 3-8. At times, the details can get very specific; therefore, some information can be omitted when sharing with specific groups. Because Nic Bishop uses highly-technological photography skills to capture the images of spiders, they can be stunning to see or they may make you cringe or itch (as in my case). The author’s website,, provides a wealth of other similar books, ranging from species of insects to animals. Also, there is a collection of books that are appropriate for teaching tools in the classroom. They can be used for an animals’ unit or simply for enjoyment." said.

"This picture book shares a large colorful photograph beside a one page/one-two paragraph of text describing that particular spider. It icludes cptions with additional information, a short glossary, a centerfold photograph of a junping spider and a section about the autor/photographer.

I enjoyed the colorful close-ups photographs of the spiders. When I taught First Grade we taught a unit about spiders focusing on non-fiction information. The culminating activity was to cut spider bodies out of construction paper, and then cut eight strips of paper for the legs. The students were asked to write one "fact" they learned about spiders on each of the eight legs. Then each leg was folded accordian style and glued to the body, then hung in the room in time for Halloween. This book would be a wonderful resource for a similar activity. It could also be used to create a classroom chart comparing different characteristics of the spiders. At the First Grade level this would be better as a read aloud, but by grades 2-3 this could be read by most children and would be a good resource for older children, too.
" said.

" 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.
" said.

"Whether Nic Bishop's "Spiders" will ease or intensify the fears of arachnophobics is uncertain; what is certain is that they will learn fascinating facts and view stunning photographs of one of the world's oldest predators. I learned that in addition to their eight legs (and usually eight eyes), spiders have two small arms called pedipalps (they look kind of like the Tyrannosaurus Rex arms in relation to its body). Their eyes do not see that well, but they rely on other senses on their bodies such as hairs that can sense sound, vibration and touch, and organs on the feet that smell and taste. Spiders' silk is made by spinnerets on the abdomen; it is liquid but then solidifies as the spider pulls it. It is amazingly strong and stretchy. Another surprising fact is that some spiders care for their young: some guard their egg sacs until the spiders hatch, some carry their young spiders on their backs, and some even feed their young with "spider milk" or other food. This book proves that, when sighted, spiders are worth more than a scream--- they are worth a closer look.
Nic Bishop has written other informational books about butterflies and moths, frogs, and marsupials, all with amazing photographs, that would serve as references or as introductions to interest students in further study (who could resist a close-up of eight eyes looking at you?!).
" said.

"Spiders is the first in what is now a trilogy of books (and what I hope will be a long-running series) by Nic Bishop about some of the world's smallest animals and insects. Bishop does a great job of distilling the basic information about spiders, such as diet, life cycle and anatomy, into basic sentences that newly confident readers can understand and read on their own. Each page highlights one particular sentence with a larger font in a contrasting color that will pull browsers in. Almost every photo has a caption which includes extra interesting facts. What really sets Bishop's books apart though is the stunning photography. The photographs of the spiders in this book are so clear and close that you can count the hairs on each spider's legs. Kids (and adults) will want to spend hours poring over the details in the photographs. Bishop also includes a note at the back detailing some of the places he traveled to get his photographs and describing some of the techniques he uses to photograph. He very clearly states that many of his photographs come from spiders he has raised himself so that he can capture specific moments in their life cycles. An index is included at the back of the book which makes it more report-friendly as well as a glossary of the few more technical terms that can be found in the text. I can't recommend this series of books enough - they're simply fascinating." said.

"I am not a spider lover. They tend to have a surprise element that I am not particularly fond of. However, Nic Bishop has managed to capture them majestically. I couldn't help but marvel at the fantastic photography in this book. I'm a huge fan of all of Bishop's books but this one is one of my favorites. Bishop always manages to give just enough information that you learn but it's not overwhelming and doesn't take away from the photos. I really enjoy reading the story of how he captures his photos that he puts at the end of every book." said.

" 48 pages. Great photos and basic information about spiders. I really learned a lot! Highly recommended for Grades 3-5. " said.

" This is a very educational book that teaches kids about spiders. The pictures are large and graphic so don't read to a child who has a fear of spiders. " said.

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