Sophie is no ordinary house spider: she is an artist who can spin the most intricate and beautiful webs. Everyone around her knows that she is destined one day to create a masterpiece. The day comes when she is grown up enough to leave home, and she takes up residence at a boarding house, where the occupants are far from appreciative of her beautiful creations. They see only sticky, revolting cobwebs rather than the lovingly made curtains, clothing and slippers that Sophie leaves for them. She is shunned and shooed from room to room so much and for so long that she grows old and weary, lacking the energy to continue to make gifts for others. When she is spotted by a young woman, Sophie is worried that she will be chased away yet again, but the woman just smiles at her. An avid knitter, the woman makes booties and a sweater for the baby she is expecting, but she is too poor to buy the wool she needs to make a blanket. Sophie knows she must summon her last ounce of strength, and she creates a blanket of such beauty and softness that it becomes her long-awaited masterpiece.
May encourage a child who is frightened of spiders to look more favourably upon these fascinating creatures. The book also reflects the ageing process, and may strike a chord with a child who has lost an elderly relative. Additionally, it has underlying themes of tolerance and acceptance.
Poetic, elegant and beautifully illustrated, we found this book emotional to read.
Sophie the spider is illustrated with a spider's body and legs and a human face and clothing. This may be a non-threatening portrayal for a child who is frightened of spiders.