cover image Dream Weaver

Dream Weaver

Jonathan London. Harcourt Children's Books, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-200944-1

This woodland idyll spins the delicate tale of Yellow Spider, an orb weaver. Magnifying the spider's hidden world, London (The Eyes of Gray Wolf) writes his lyric prose in second person (""If you're quiet and listen, maybe you can hear its feet on the sparkling web""), while Bavier (A Boy Called Slow) spotlights the initial spider sighting, then cleverly introduces a boy viewer with whom readers can readily identify. The book thus becomes an invitation into the orb weaver's universe. Here, a snail is gargantuan (it fills an entire spread), and ""a raindrop on a fallen leaf is a forest pool."" The tranquil, Lilliputian perspective shifts when a hiker charges through, and Baviera shows the spider's web and environs in shambles (and the hiker's footprint in evidence). Undaunted, Yellow Spider ""waits, then begins to weave."" Bavier's full-bleed, electric, crayon pencil illustrations and telephoto focus heighten the miniature drama. With a palette of primary and secondary shades, Bavier's pictures fairly vibrate with intensity. An addendum, presented as a notebook entry, fills in the scientific details of Yellow Spider. Even reluctant scientists can appreciate this unflinching arachnid hero and may see the world a little differently after viewing it through his eyes. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)