Spider and the Fly - Mary Howitt, Tony DiTerlizzi *5 Stars*

Scorecard: (Out of 10)
* Quality of Writing - 10
* Pace - 9
* Plot development - 10
* Characters - 10
* Enjoyability - 9
* Insightfulness - 9
* Ease of Reading - 9 (text is a tad old fashioned for most readers)
* Photos/Illustrations - 10 (I'd give it higher then that if I could)
Final Score: 76/80 = 95%

*WARNING: While the text hints at what happens to Miss Fly, the pictures make it abundantly clear. They are not graphic or anything but it is blatant. Parents should be aware and take into account their children's ages.

*The Gush*

This is a very interesting book. I can't say how much I love it, but I understand this might not be for everyone. The text is adapted from Mary Howitt's cautionary tale of a Fly that listens to Spider's flattery and walks right into his web. She never comes out. Most adult readers can draw multiple inferences from this but the text is obscure enough for a younger reader to understand the consequences are bad without getting into details.

It is the illustrations however that make this book. You can find the text anywhere, probably on the internet, but the pictures alone make this book a worthwhile purchase. I loved his choice of style, with the black and white movie feel of the 20's. The clothing the bugs wear also reflect the chosen time period which makes this work even better. There is, however, also a creepy vibe to the pictures, such as the dinner party the Spider throws where even the wallpaper has a dead bug motif. The words might obscure but the illustrations do not; you know from the beginning the Spider is nothing but bad.

One final touch that clinches this book for me is how the illustrator draws one or two lines of a spider web on nearly every text page. So as the Spider spins his web of lies, you actually see it taking shape, even though the fly does not.

*The Rant*

Mostly what I've already mentioned in the warning. There is nothing gory about the pictures but there are ghostly figures of the bugs he's killed and the ending is completely clear on the fate of Miss Fly.

A lovely picture book that might dazzle the parents more then the children, it is none the less a great book and every interesting read. A must see for any aspiring artist in my opinion.