14 April 2011

Books to Make a Mom Swoon

As the mom of a boy, I am having to deal with my disgust of all things creepy and crawly. I don't swoon if I sight a spider or other small, many-legged creature. But you may see me visibly shudder if one comes too close. I am not enthralled with slimy and slithering animals either, and prefer to stand back in the amphibian and reptile room at the zoo or science center. Isaac, on the other hand, makes a beeline for the sharks and snakes and revels in my aversion to the moray eel.

I can usually handle seeing pictures of these animals. Unlike the second grade girls that I teach, I will not scream when confronted with a color photograph in a book. But Nic Bishop's photographs in Spiders put my fainting response to the test. If the pictures were of flowers or fuzzy animals, I would rave about how gorgeous and life-like they are. I can say they are definitely life-like, as attested by my full-body shudders when I was reading the book to Isaac.

But, as much as I prefer less realistic pictures of anything creepy, crawly, slithery or slimy, I know that Bishop's books are great for boys. He has provided photographs for other authors and written his own books, and many of the books that he has worked on are highly regarded. He does take photographs of animals that evoke more warm and cuddly responses, but I think his books focused on the smaller, harder to capture animals are the best. Even if your boy only peruses the pictures while you read the captions to him, they are well worth the time.

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