cover image Jumper: A Day in the Life of a Backyard Jumping Spider

Jumper: A Day in the Life of a Backyard Jumping Spider

Jessica Lanan. Roaring Brook, $19.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-250-81036-6

Close-up artwork and lucid text by Lanan result in an immersive exploration of a common jumping spider’s abilities and physical traits. The subject, known as Jumper, may be tiny (“as small as a bean”), but her eight eyes, tufted feet, “built-in safety line,” and ability to jump five times her body length all help her hunt for the insects she eats. An aerial view captures humans of varying skin tones enjoying a community garden in bright sunlight. There, ink, watercolor, and gouache spreads show Jumper alternately pursuing possible meals and escaping becoming prey, sensing vibrations through “elbows and knees” and detecting sound through the hairs covering her entire body. Combined with an often-question-driven narration that puts readers in Jumper’s shoes, unconventional angles, deep shadows, and an impressive spread that visualizes the garden through the spider’s eyes add fresh perspective. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)