Thursday, October 19, 2017

Book Review: Gregory the Spider

Gregory the Spider: Romping through the Year is an enchanting children’s picture book written by Cynthia Dreeman Meyer and illustrated by Marina Saumell. Gregory the spider takes young readers on a pictorial romp through the year, with significant dates and days of celebration cleverly woven into the full page, full colour illustrations. Gregory invites young readers to follow him as he turns the first page in a lovely adventure of seasonal fun. His friends, Max and Molly Mouse, take part in each month’s romp, and Gregory features significantly, often getting into the spirit of things by wearing a costume or hat. Through sunshine, rain, wind, snow, and ice, Gregory shows youngsters the seasons and significant holidays, special days, or moments in the calendar.

First, the illustrations are absolutely adorable and detailed. Readers will definitely spend some time poring over the images and making discoveries. The images are also deceptively simple because, as youngsters read with an adult, they can be encouraged to spot the clues hidden in each picture to indicate the name of the month and other fun features that make the month special. A check list at the end of the book will help young sleuths. The author invites readers to investigate further on her website for a full list of items to find in each picture, and their significance. However, it will be good for parents or teachers to let young readers try for themselves to find the important items and to guess the significance of each month.

The story itself is told quite simply, and possibly because not much wording is needed. The illustrations have a kind of energy that “romps” along as well as one turns the pages. Gregory is a surprise main character because spiders don’t usually end up in the spotlight. Gregory is a delightful “narrator” with his antics, his appropriate costumes, and his expressive eyes! The lovely cover promises a treasure trove of interesting details inside and young readers will not be disappointed. A lovely storybook to share with family members, or as a gift to a young reader, a book that will be read over and over again!

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