The Spider and the Fly (Illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi)

The Spider and the Fly (Illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi)

by Tony DiTerlizzi, Mary Howitt


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"'Will you walk into my parlor,'
said the Spider to the Fly..."
is easily one of the most recognized and quoted first lines in all of English verse. But do you have any idea how the age-old tale of the Spider and the Fly ends? Join celebrated artist Tony DiTerlizzi as he — drawing inspiration from one of his loves, the classic Hollywood horror movies of the 1920s and 1930s — shines a cinematic spotlight on Mary Howitt's warning, written to her own children about those who use sweet words to hide their not-so-sweet intentions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780689852893
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 10/01/2002
Edition description: Repackage
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 130,996
Product dimensions: 11.24(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.45(d)
Age Range: 6 - 9 Years

About the Author

Mary Howitt was born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1799. With her husband, William Howitt, she wrote more than 180 books, including the poem The Spider and the Fly: An Apologue: A New Version of an Old Story, which first appeared in The New Year’s Gift.

Tony DiTerlizzi is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator who has been creating books with Simon & Schuster for fifteen years. From his fanciful picture books like Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, Adventure of Meno (with his wife, Angela), and The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like Kenny and The Dragon and The Search for WondLa, Tony always imbues his stories with a rich imagination. His middle grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Holly Black), has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in more than thirty countries. You can visit him at

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The Spider and the Fly 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
....and I wish they had! I only got to flip through it one day at B. Dalton, but it blew me away. I was fully expecting some corny, badly illustrated, wishy-washy kids' book, but this was GREAT! Not only was the illustrations FABULOUS, but the storyline was wonderful, even if a bit macabre. It was more in the line of actual old time Fairy Tales-- you know, the kind that had cautionary undertones? This is like a journey back to those kinds of tales, and it was awesome, completely awesome-- even if it's a childrens' book, I'd buy it, just to look at it and read it again.
Nicolemerriweather on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A black and white delightful book, that begins with a spider trying to invite a fly up to a parlor with him. But the female fly is afraid to go because she feels that if she goes up there she will never be able to leave. But the spider tries to pull every tick he can¿t to convince her that she need to go up there. He entices her with how nice the beds are; how great the food is and even compliments her on the way she looks. By the end of the story you will find out if she goes up to the parlor with the spider or does she leave like she said she will. It plays good against evil, while using a delightful poem to tell the story. This week we have been talking about insects. So in the four and five year old class they already understand that spiders catch flies. So already you have a dividing of the class room. You had the girls sitting there hopping the female fly left and didn¿t go up to the parlor with the spider. And then you had the boys wanting the spider to eat her. And by time I finish the book on the group where happy while the other was sad. This was one of the best group discussions we had. For our first activity we read the book. Our second activity was to make spiders. And then next day our third activity was to make the fly. By then it was Thursday so I had them put on a play, but I allowed them to change the story ending if they wanted to. So I spit them up in groups of 4 and I first put my twist to the story. Then I gave them time to talk to each other and they put on there own story, and I have a group leave the story just the way it was. But we had some great changes to the end of the story. Great imagination.
linnaea44 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow! At first i thought very cute and a little scary pictures, but then at the end yikes how tragic. This books teaches a very important lesson to children about being weary of strangers and their charming ways. I loved the black and white illustrations and the way it was formatted like an old movie. It was a little morbid but necessary to prove its point.Great book for all ages, but maybe not a bedtime story.
GI142984 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Lyric poetry of The Spider and the Fly was about a spider who attempts to persuade a fly to stay in his parlor. He lures her through out the house by complements her on her wings and eyes. The fly knows better but is just under the spider¿s flattering spell. In the end the spider gets the fly and her ghost shows up at the end with a poetic line for a lesson to be learned. The letter at the end of the poem from the spider to all the ¿sweet creatures¿ who have read the story.The black and white illustrations were very "old fashion" looking with the spider wearing the tux and the bug wearing the flapper dress, which I loved. This was a good lyric poem and the it was just so catchy. Everyone knows that spiders eat bugs, this book just adds to their imagination when it tells of the cunning ways a spiders lures his food into his web. The book also has a moral tale that children can learn from and discuss, that not everyone who acts friendly and flattering really are and can be bad. The letter at the end of the poem/story from the spider is excellent explanation to the readers. This is a great book for Halloween, bring up issues on trust and safety, and when learning about poetry or spiders.
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had never read this classic cautionary tale by Howitt about a wily spider who sweet talks a fly into his web. Wonderfully illustrated with macabre black and white images inspired by Edward Gorey and Tim Burton which bring to mind old horror films from the early days of cinema.
laceyfield on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary:The spider lives in a scary mansion and it is known around that if one stays in his parlor, they never return. The spider uses very flattering words to trick the fly, who is not sure if she wants to stay in his mansion or not. He offers her food, which she knows is other bugs he has trapped. Finally, the fly leaves but soon after she comes back after hearing the spiders singing and charming words. The fly ends up getting caught in the web after all.Personal Reaction:I thought this story would end happy, like most other children¿s books. However, the fly ended up dying at the end of the story. The last page says that they hope little children may never give into ¿flattering words.¿ This story is trying to teach the children a lesson on being your own instead of following others.Classroom Ideas:1. This would be great to explain to the students to be yourself and not to follow other people.2. The pictures in this book are very scary and chilling. This would be a good book to read around Halloween time to an older level of students.
arielfl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite children's books. I bring it with my every time I substitute teach at an elementary school. The students love it's spooky black and while illustrations. The story is about a spider who tries to lure a fly into his liar with flattery. Even though she knows better she gets sucked in anyway. The illustrations are so clever. They are by one of the author's of The Spiderwick Chronicles. I see something new every time I read it. For instance, the spider lives in a mansion but when you look closer you see that it is a dollhouse in a little girl's room. There are also humorous illustrations of the ghosts of the other bug victim's who try to warn the fly of impending doom. I love the picture where one is trying to show the fly the spider's book titled The Joy of Cooking Bugs. I have read this book to many children and they have all loved it. Even better is the fact that it is a book that I don't mind reading over and over again.
lleighton05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Critique: Genre: In this story, the spider and fly talk. The spider is considered the evil character because it is tricking the fly. However, the spider ends up winning and it eats the fly. It is not typical of most fantasy's, but would be considered more of a tragedy. Character: The spider in this story is developed through its interactions with the fly and other bugs. The reader can tell it is portrayed to be a not nice spider, but yet at the end discusses how that is how spiders eat. The spider is a round character because we learn a lot through it. Media: pencil
catesharris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the greatest poems I have ever read and the best illustrations to accompany it. It is so creative, dark, fun, and lovely! It is my favorite picture book.
kthomp25 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book just for the artwork; lots of layers for those willing to look deeply. A cautionary tale with a moral at the end to beware of those who ingratiate themselves swiftly. The spider shows perseverance, trying to entice the fly with rest, food, and finally realizing the way to this particular fly's heart is through flattery.
conuly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a picture book of the classic poem by Mary Howitt. (And it's in the public domain, so if you're curious about the content of this book you can google for it.)Fair warning to people with very young or sensitive children: This IS the poem that starts off "Will you come into my parlor..." and it ends exactly the way you'd expect a meeting between a spider and a fly to end. If you think you'll have a problem with this, please hit the back button NOW and find another book more suited for you and your child. Some children simply don't like this sort of thing, it *is* a little scary and intense, it *does* end with the fly's death, and you know your child best.For the rest of us, this is a great cautionary tale illustrated in the style of silent movies from the 20s, down to the clothes the buggies are wearing. The book is carefully, creepily sinister without being graphic, and there's a moral lesson here: If you already know somebody wishes you harm, don't listen when they start to flatter you! Heck, even if you're not sure, use your head!
amspicer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved reading this book with my class and they enjoyed it too! The story is about a spider who tries time and time again to get the fly to stay for dinner with him. The fly says no at first however, slowly but surely the spider enticed the fly to stay which eventually led to the fly being caught in his web. After I discussed the negative outcomes of peer pressure with the class I continued to make a connection with Red Ribbon week and how easy it is to fall into peer pressure. The students and I had a discussion on drugs, alcohol and tobacco use and how harmful it can be.
mmleynek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Personal Response:I have always loved this cautionary tale and DiTerlizzi's pictures really bring it to life. The lesson it teaches is so true. At times we know something is wrong but decide try it anyway. That's how life's lessons are learned.Curricular Connections:A great read aloud for the Halloween season.
Warnerp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This 2003 Caldecott Medal Honor Book also contains a great deal of information about the original author and the new illustrator, as well as a note from the Spider himself warning children not to be fooled by people who might be tricking them and will hurt them.
oapostrophe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love to read this poem aloud and the illustrations in this version are wonderfully creepy. Not for the very young, but very enjoyable for older elementary.
slmturner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story is depicted as a 1920's black and white movie theme. It is about a fly who is being pursued by a conniving spider. He attempts to lure her into his parlor. She resists, but eventually falls into his trap of deception. There is a message to the story for young people: just because someone appears to be appealing does not mean that they have good intentions. Always be cautious around strangers.I absolutely loved the book. I even bought a personal copy. The story is very tragic but has a good lesson to it. We are all deceived by flattery throughout our lives. The illustrations are wonderful with great detail! A teacher could have a classroom discussion about different types of flattery and how to politely refuse advances from flattery. A fun way students could do this is by dividing into groups and coming up with skits to act out what they have learned. Students could also read Hansel and Gretel and discuss similarities about flattery and deception between the two books.
lhanes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story,The Spider and the Fly, is about a sly spider who tries to con the beautiful fly into coming up to his parlor. His words are full of blantant deception because the spider wants the fly to become his food. The fly is rather smart and understands that the spider is up to no good, but he calls her repeatedly and that is when he traps her into his web.I personally don't normally enjoy creepy crawly things but this spooky book is one you could read during Halloween. The pictures are black and white, which is great in its own way.In my classroom I could see several ways to utilize this one. Traditionally we speak of talking spiders at Halloween time but this poem could be used in lots of ways. We could use it as an art example with the different tones and black and white brilliance. It could also be used to break of the monotany of a Science lesson in insects. Books like this could be used in a multitude of October close to Halloween. The teacher could bring in bug shaped candy to pass out to the kids. It can also be used to teach that though strangers may tell you what you want to hear, you can;t always trust what they say.
steveberman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not only a lovely book, it's also incredibly wicked and funny. This is what every goth should read to their kid (or spouse) at night in bed.
Autumn2 More than 1 year ago
K picked this book up from his school library and I was impressed.  First this was a bit above his reading level to truly understand some of the words and their meanings. But we both enjoyed the story none the less.This is a book that I believe I need to keep a copy on my bookshelf, it is dark and I liked that. I liked how there were not words that K knew and he was willing to learn the definition  of some of the words. I think that this is a good way to build up some new words in a child's vocabulary if they need it. There weren't many but just a few.  K asked me about why there was no color and I had no response as to really why. The only thing I could come up with is it is more scary and goes perfect with the telling of the Spider and the Fly.  I would say maybe the younger kids might be scared of the pictures and the tone of the story but it would be up to you to decide that. K is 8 and wasn't scare he actually enjoyed it a lot more than I expected him to. 
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
First confession:  I own two copies of the Tony DiTerlizzi illustrated version of The Spider and the Fly; one I bought in 2002, and one I just bought last month.  I wouldn't let my young son "read" my 2002 version of The Spider and The Fly because I wanted to keep it pristine.  Now I will just keep the 10th Anniversary Edition to myself.  Pretty much everyone knows the opening lines to The Spider and The Fly, and with good reason; they are pretty amazing first lines.  The rest of the poem, although seldom quoted, is just as great. The Spider and the Fly was my initial introduction to Tony DiTerlizzi's artwork, and I've been a fan of his work ever since.  There is a bit of Rackham, Gorey, and Brian Froud living in his work, but the combination is pure DiTerlizzi.  Second confession:  I bought the original The Spider and the Fly long before I was a mom.  I wasn't even married.  I just really, really wanted the book because of the black and white, film noir illustrations.  And the fly looked very much like my younger sister, Luna, at the time (although, she does only have two arms and two legs.) Third confession:  For the Hallowe'en party of the library in 2006, my fellow librarian, Louise, and I did a Reader's Theater version of this book.  We pre-recorded the dialogue and acted it out in costumes for the kids at the party.  Louise was the spider.  I was the fly. 
John-GaltMN More than 1 year ago
Classic poem, superb illustrations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jflore27 More than 1 year ago
The Spider and the Fly is a book that contains beautiful and detailed illustrations within its pages. The black and white pictures correlate with the story about a spider who attempts to lure an innocent fly into his parlor for his own purposes. The story has a meaning behind the text, teaching the readers to stay safe when encountering a stranger. Although The Spider and the Fly has a questionable ending, the story and illustrations will not disappoint. The reader will have a fun time reading the story to his/her child while learning the important message the book sends out to its readers. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to share a well written and illustrated bedtime story with their child.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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