Sam­my Spi­der’s New Friend

Sylvia A. Rouss; Kather­ine Janus Kahn, illus.
  • Review
By – November 19, 2012
Friend­ly and curi­ous, Sam­my Spi­der learns about the Jew­ish cus­tom of wel­com­ing new neigh­bors in this suc­cess­ful addi­tion to the well-loved series. Josh is help­ing Mrs. Shapiro bake a cake for the Israeli fam­i­ly mov­ing in next door and Mr. Shapiro sug­gests that they also take over some pita bread and hum­mus, in keep­ing with the tra­di­tion of bring­ing new neigh­bors bread and salt so they will enjoy many hap­py meals togeth­er.” Sam­my is eager to wel­come the neigh­bors too and, when a sud­den breeze car­ries him to a tree next door, he low­ers him­self down to find the new boy cry­ing. Sam­my spins a web to cheer the boy up and then watch­es as the Shapiros arrive and the fam­i­lies get acquaint­ed. What seems sim­ple here is still a les­son worth teach­ing, as kind­ness and open­ness toward oth­ers is always a mitz­vah, par­tic­u­lar­ly for some­one who is feel­ing lone­ly and out of place. Though some­what for­mu­la­ic by now, the text reads com­fort­ably and includes a few Hebrew words such as akvish (spi­der), which Rouss clev­er­ly places in a con­text that allows even very young chil­dren famil­iar with Sam­my Spi­der to fig­ure out on their own. As always, the col­or­ful cut-paper illus­tra­tions on two-page spreads are cheer­ful­ly inte­grat­ed into the sto­ry. Anoth­er wel­come title from a team who clear­ly under­stand how to cre­ate books for very young chil­dren. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 2 – 8.

Read­ing Guide

Teri Mark­son has been a children’s librar­i­an for over 18 years. She is cur­rent­ly the act­ing senior librar­i­an at the Val­ley Plaza Branch Library in North Hol­ly­wood, CA.

Discussion Questions