Sam­my Spi­der’s First Day of School

Sylvia A. Rouss; Kather­ine Janus Kahn, illus.
  • Review
By – January 13, 2012
The ever-curi­ous Sam­my Spi­der, star­ring in his 11th title, drops down from the ceil­ing, where he lives in a web with his moth­er, and hitch­es a ride to Jew­ish preschool in Josh’s back­pack. Bok­er Tov! Good morn­ing!” says the teacher, who uses the sto­ry of Noah’s Ark to engage the chil­dren in a dis­cus­sion about an impor­tant Jew­ish val­ue”— kind­ness to ani­mals. But when the lit­tle spi­der is dis­cov­ered, a child wants to step on him. Josh picks Sam­my up, shows his class­mates there’s noth­ing to be afraid of, and they then take turns hold­ing him. Josh’s moth­er is proud that he has helped his class­mates under­stand what it means to be kind to ani­mals, and Sammy’s moth­er is hap­py that her son has made lots of new friends. The text moves along clum­si­ly, but illus­tra­tor Kather­ine Janus Kahn’s bright­ly-col­ored cut shapes add much visu­al inter­est, ener­gy and piz­zazz to the sto­ry. Ages 3 – 6.

Susan Kan­tor was a senior writer/​editor for Girl Scouts of the USA, a chil­dren’s book edi­tor, and a past judge for the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards in the illus­trat­ed children’s book cat­e­go­ry. She is a writer and a docent at the Rubin Muse­um in New York City, where she leads pub­lic and pri­vate tours.

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