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Miss Spider's New Car (Miss Spider
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PreS-Gr 2‘Upon receiving an invitation to tea from her mother, Miss Spider takes her husband's advice and shops for a new car. (Only on the jacket copy is Holley recognized as Miss Spider's new husband.) Together they test drive several fanciful models: some powered by wings and jumping legs, and others with leaves, grass, twigs, and other plant parts. At last, they try out the "Inferno," powered by matches, but the steering locks, the brakes fail, and they jump to avoid an explosion. Miss Spider then decides to return to the first car she saw, the blue one at Bub Bumble Bee's. However, Holley has secretly arranged for Moth Sue to purchase that car as a surprise for his wife. Miss Spider's disappointment at missing out on her favorite vehicle turns to delight when she spies the dazzling, "just right" little car on her own lawn. The energetic verse conveys the movement of the vehicles. Full-color, cartoonlike paintings, rendered in jewel tones, depict each eventful test drive on full- or double-page spreads. With judicious use of light, varied perspectives, and a fluid line that indicates motion, the lavish, enthusiastic pictures extend the text. This outing will be good for storytimes or one-on-one sharing so children can explore the details of the illustrations. Young readers will enjoy this exuberant companion to the earlier books.‘Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA

Kirk's seemingly boundless imagination zips along at impressive speed in this follow-up to Miss Spider's Tea Party and Miss Spider's Wedding. Though some youngsters may not be as familiar with or interested in the themes surrounding those social events, they may well find this latest adventure from Miss Spider‘in which she and husband Holley set out on a car-buying expedition‘sets their wheels spinning. There are indeed plenty of cool wheels on these pages, from buggies fashioned from a snail ("the Escargot") to a grasshopper get-up (with "flexo-flea spring loaded legs") to a rolling box of matches (a.k.a. a matchbox car, one of "Super Sid's Flamin' Values"). Electric hues and a 3-D effect (e.g., in a car with wings, Miss Spider and Holley fly close-up and crystal clear, while Kirk suggests a soft-focus landscape below composed of river and trees) charge the high-energy oil paintings. Children‘as well as Miss Spider's adult fans‘will revel in this witty author's fluent, rhyming verse and scattered droll puns (e.g., when Holley thinks they're going too fast, "`There might be hungry rats down there./ We have no way of knowing.'/ `How fine it is,' Miss Spider laughed,/ `To feel my toppy blowing'"). The eight-legged heroine's many fans will delight in the hint that she may next be shopping for a boat. By any transportation mode, this personable arachnid goes the distance. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) FYI: Kirk is at work on a screenplay for an animated film starring Miss Spider, for Universal Studios.

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