Category: Children’s Fiction, Book Review
Published: June 2017 by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd
‘I have spent a good deal of time teaching my children and grandchildren to respect the other creatures we share our world with. Many children and even many grown-ups, suffer from arachnophobia with unfortunate results for themselves and the spiders; particularly those who inhabit our homes. My hope is this house spider adventure will dispel some of those fears and influence children and their parents to look kindly on these useful and harmless little creatures and indeed, all life forms which make up our world. They all have their part to play in ensuring our unique planet and the life it supports, will continue.’
I read Jimmy the House Spider with my five year old grandson, or more accurately he read it to me. There’s quite a lot more to read in this book as opposed to the reading books he brings home from school, but we read it in three short sessions. There are several words that I thought were quite advanced for the target age group, such as instinctively and laboriously, so help was needed with some pronunciations and explanations of the meaning, which isn’t a bad thing. That aside, he was very pleased with himself when he’d finished the book and wanted to take it into school. The teacher read it to the class and I’m told most of the children were entertained by it.
To be honest, I was surprised at how much my grandson enjoyed it, as his reading choice when he’s at our house, at the moment anyway, mostly consists of dinosaurs, dinosaurs and more dinosaurs. Jimmy the House Spider kept his interest and was a welcome change. The fact that a spider lived in Grandpa’s top pocket caused much amusement and Jimmy’s adventures and the dangers he faced added to the enjoyment, which was enhanced by very good illustrations.
“I think I’ll call you Jimmy, because of the way you shimmy across the floor,” said Grandpa, and so the name stuck.
It’s a cute story with facts about other insects and animals woven into the narrative, and an underlying message which hopefully will encourage, and help children to lose their fear and/or dislike of spiders. The way it’s written educates in a fun way and shows spiders in a harmless and engaging light.
I chose to read and review Jimmy the House Spider for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on a copy of the book from the author.
Raymond Thomas Davies was brought up in the North East of England and combined a successful career as an engineering consultant with music and singing. Now living in North Yorkshire with his wife Jennifer, he has five children and eight grandchildren. He now spends his time writing and composing/recording music.