cover image Miss Spider's New Car

Miss Spider's New Car

David Kirk. Scholastic, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-30713-0

Kirk's seemingly boundless imagination zips along at impressive speed in this follow-up to Miss Spider's Tea Party and Miss Spider's Wedding. Though some youngsters may not be as familiar with or interested in the themes surrounding those social events, they may well find this latest adventure from Miss Spider--in which she and husband Holley set out on a car-buying expedition--sets their wheels spinning. There are indeed plenty of cool wheels on these pages, from buggies fashioned from a snail (""the Escargot"") to a grasshopper get-up (with ""flexo-flea spring loaded legs"") to a rolling box of matches (a.k.a. a matchbox car, one of ""Super Sid's Flamin' Values""). Electric hues and a 3-D effect (e.g., in a car with wings, Miss Spider and Holley fly close-up and crystal clear, while Kirk suggests a soft-focus landscape below composed of river and trees) charge the high-energy oil paintings. Children--as well as Miss Spider's adult fans--will revel in this witty author's fluent, rhyming verse and scattered droll puns (e.g., when Holley thinks they're going too fast, ""`There might be hungry rats down there./ We have no way of knowing.'/ `How fine it is,' Miss Spider laughed,/ `To feel my toppy blowing'""). The eight-legged heroine's many fans will delight in the hint that she may next be shopping for a boat. By any transportation mode, this personable arachnid goes the distance. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) FYI: Kirk is at work on a screenplay for an animated film starring Miss Spider, for Universal Studios.