Friday, May 7, 2010
The Deadlies: Felix Takes the Stage (Book One) by Kathryn Lasky
Publication date: May 2010
Hardcover, 160 pages
The Deadlies are like any other family with a loving mother and bright, rambunctious children. Except they're spiders. Really, really poisonous ones. But Edith and her children are kind and cultured. In fact, the Deadlies had been happily living in a symphony hall until Edith's son, Felix, had a . . . misunderstanding with the maestro. Now they're on the hunt for a new home. That is, if they can outwit the overzealous arachnologists and evil exterminators on their tail. Will they ever find a place to live in peace?
I began reading this to my 6 year-old son and 9 year-old daughter. Because I like spiders (they efficiently kill all the bugs in the house), and I try to instill this love of nature in my children (I do not want them to have any bug phobias), I was looking forward to this story. After just a few pages, we quickly realized the reading level was advanced and more for ages 9-12. Although I stopped and gave the definition of new words and answered all the questions this book brought up about spiders, which was great, my son lost interest after awhile, then my daughter, and finally I did too. For some reason the story did not seem to grip us, unlike other books where my kids looked forward to the next time we read together.
We read about one third of the book before putting it aside. I think my son will pick this up again when he is a little older. He is curious about spiders. Last summer when he was taken to the hospital for a severe allergic reaction to the chlorine at the hotel pool, we met an elderly couple in the waiting room. The husband held a small plastic container in which was a large brown recluse spider. His wife who was sitting next to him had a large ugly bruise on her forearm, which they believed was the result of being bitten by the spider the husband had caught in their bedroom. I do not think my son will easily forget that encounter!
Disclosure: Thank you to Nikole from Scholastic Canada for sending us this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.