Lizs Book Snuggery

Who’s Afraid of Spiders?

I’m Trying To Love Spiders

By Bethany Barton


Something tells me that Bethany Barton has a whole lot of love in her heart for many things – even the most loathsome, that leave some of us screaming into the night, searching for safety or a swatter.

In her latest picture book, “I’m Trying to Love Spiders,” she does her darndest to deter the arachnophobia in her reader, (fear of spiders) and herself, with a book, as the cover says, “chock-full of amazing arachnid facts.”

Let’s face it, it’s that time of year when the creepy crawlies come out of the woodwork,  perch in the safety of our homes, and scare the living daylights out of us.

It sort of does defy logic how we huge humans are super scared of these eight-eyed, multi-legged critters that are so small – most of the time.

I have seen some BIG spiders that make me scream, “DAVID!!!” After all, men were the hunter/gatherers, no? After all if they could topple a T-Rex, what’s a eight eyed, seventy-five pounds of bugs a year, eating spider? Easy peasy!

Knowledge is power and Ms. Barton takes that approach with her picture book that admits her own trepidation with spidey.

Why not take the “Official Spider Test” she offers on the inside cover to determine your comfort level with the creepers? Here it is:


What do you do when you see one of these? (picture a spider)


  1. Lay on a BIG spidey smoocheroo.
  2. Smile, but back away slowly.
  3. Grab the closest object and aim it at the spider.
  4. Run away screaming. I picture them with families, you see!


Kids who love the loathsome will love this spider fun fact book. I truly did not know there were so many KINDS of spiders. Here are some: ST. Andrews Cross spider, the smallest in the world called the Patu Digua spider, the Happy Face spider( yes, he does have a happy face on his back), and the Peacock spider that displays a colorful fan on his tummy, waving its arms and leg to attract a mate.Trust me, kids will love the Bird-Dung Crab spider the most. He hides in plain sight by looking like bird poop! Hmmm. And interestingly enough, today, our 42nd wedding anniversary, think I will withhold from my husband this cool spider fact that the black widow usually eats its mate!

Maybe you won’t want to ask an arachnid to dinner, after reading this picture book with, and to, your young readers, but you will at last ask him to leave gently!

I am comforted knowing there is a better chance statistically of being struck by lightning, than of being bitten fatally by a spider.

My favorite was the Writing spider that draws zigzag patterns in its web. There is even a spider that can do “cartwheels”  down sand dunes to escape danger. He’s called the Golden Wheel spider.

I have to say that I have taken none of these. Over time I have gotten into the practice of scrunching up a rather large wad of tissues and gently transporting the arachnid to the front door when I see him or her skitter away.


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