Sy Montgomery; Nic Bishop (Photographer)
Meet arachnologist Sam Marshall as he explores the floor of the rainforest of French Guiana in South America, studying the habits and habitat of the Goliath birdeater tarantula, the world’s largest spider. Marshall was an indifferent student at Bard College until he found his passion, researching the habits and behavior of tarantulas. He says, "Scientific research is just a way of asking a question and answering it. That was the thing that totally changed my life." Now he works at the largest comparative spider laboratory in the U.S., which he founded, at Hiram College in Ohio. This Sibert Honor winner (silver medal) for distinguished informational books, part of the exemplary Scientists in the Field series, highlights an enthusiastic and articulate expert in his field. The book abounds with Nic Bishop’s splendid life-sized color photographs that reveal and revel in the majesty of tropical tarantulas, which scientists also call hairy mygalomorphs. How much do you know about them? Here are just a few facts you’ll glean from the book. True or false?:
1. People can die from a tarantula's bite.
2. Tarantulas smell with their feet.
3. Tarantulas can regrow lost legs.
4. Tarantulas live for 4 years.
1. False. No one has ever died from one.
4. False. Some can live for 30.
For some spectacular color photos of many types of tarantulas, go to the American Tarantula Society website at http://atshq.org/gallery Bishop and Montgomery also won a Sibert Honor for Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea, while Bishop won yet another Sibert Honor in 2008 for Nic Bishop Spiders, in which he wrote about and photographed more than a dozen arachnids.
Reviewed by : JF.
Themes : ANIMALS. BIOGRAPHY. SCIENCE AND SCIENTISTS.
CRITICS HAVE SAID
- A treat, even for arachnophobes.
Patricia Manning, School Library Journal
- Readers will come away armed with facts about spiders in general and tarantulas in particular, but even more important, they’ll have a clear understanding of how the answers derived from research become the roots of new, intriguing questions.
Stephanie Zvirin, Booklist
- It is a wonderful nonfiction book, in every sense of the word.
Susan Hepler, Ph.D., Children
- Bishop’s phenomenal photos show spiders mating, shedding their skin, even leaping through the air. It’s enough to make Miss Muffet fall in love.
IF YOU LOVE THIS BOOK, THEN TRY:
Berger, Melvin. Spinning Spiders. HarperCollins, 2003. ISBN-13: 9780064452076
Bishop, Nic. Nic Bishop Frogs. Scholastic, 2008. ISBN-13: 9780439782210
Bishop, Nic. Nic Bishop Spiders. Scholastic, 2007. ISBN-13: 9780439877565
Kramer, Stephen. Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscope. Houghton Mifflin, 2001. ISBN-13: 9780618354054
Markle, Sandra. Spiders: Biggest! Littlest! Boyds Mills, 2004. ISBN-13: 9781590781906
Montgomery, Sy. Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea. Houghton Mifflin, 2006. ISBN-13: 9780618496419
Montgomery, Sy. The Snake Scientist. Houghton Mifflin, 1999. ISBN-13: 9780618111190
Murawski, Darlyne A. Spiders and Their Webs. National Geographic, 2004. ISBN-13: 9780792269793
Tyson, Leigh Ann. An Interview with Harry the Tarantula. National Geographic, 2003. ISBN-13: 9780792251224
White, E. B. Charlotte’s Web. HarperCollins, 1952. ISBN-13: 9780064400558