Spider, a contemporary Shoshone boy, is worried. He has a note from school saying he qualifies for the school-wide spelling bee, but he knows that he will be too afraid to walk onto the stage or utter a sound. His loving family encourages him to overcome his fear by thinking about the good qualities of various animals. Only when the boy sees a spider courageously fall into space and begin weaving a web does he find the inspiration he needs.
Coalson's expressive watercolor and pastel artwork beautifully portrays the snow-covered outdoors and the warm interior and perfectly illustrates Spider's anxiety and the close relationship the family enjoys. This warm, sensitive story is valuable for a child facing a fearful situation and also as a representation of contemporary Native American life on the reservation. A treasure for children who have advanced beyond the picture-book crowd. 32 pages. Ages 6-10
Recommended by Barbara Karp,Librarian.