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Sophie's Masterpiece: A Spider's Tale
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689801122, Hardcover)Sophie is an artist. She is also a house spider, but one that children will certainly cheer and not fear. The webs she weaves are spectacular--some are stars, or hammocks, or sun patterns--and her mama is very proud of her. When she grows old enough to strike out on her own, however, she is not warmly greeted by the world at large. At Beekman's Boardinghouse, a dull sort of place that "cried out for her talents," she only wants to beautify it with her gossamer artistry. But even as she is spinning a web of curtains for the front parlor, "blending a golden thread of sun into her silk," she is swatted by a screaming landlady! She scampers into the tugboat captain's closet where she sets to work on making him a new suit, day after day, a sleeve here, a collar there. Once discovered there (the captain screeches and climbs out onto the windowsill), she moves on yet again. Now a much older spider, she climbs up a long staircase to settle into a young woman's knitting basket. One day, the woman discovers Sophie... and smiles! Sophie, noticing that her new friend is pregnant and in need of a baby blanket, decides that she will spin one for her baby, a cloth into which she weaves starlight, snippets of fragrant pine, wisps of night, old lullabies, playful snowflakes, and, in the end, her very own heart. Illustrator Jane Dyer, who worked with Eileen Spinelli on When Mama Comes Home Tonight, has outdone herself in Sophie's Masterpiece, painting this bittersweet story in gentle watercolors. She manages to convincingly anthropomorphize Sophie, and paintings like the one of the courageous spider struggling up the long staircase, casting long shadows, will linger long with readers. (Ages 4 and older) --Karin Snelson
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:36 -0400)
Sophie the spider makes wondrous webs, but the residents of Beekman's Boarding House do not appreciate her until at last, old and tired, she weaves her final masterpiece.
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