The Spider and the Fly
By: Mary Howitt Illustrated By: Tony DiTerlizzi
The ending of the story contains a very clear message, one that is actually written out. The message stated is, “And now, dear little children, who may this story read. To idle, silly, flattering words I pray you ne’er give heed.” The message this book contains is one that is important for children to understand. It is important for children to understand that there will be people in the world who try to persuade them using clever tricks, but they must trust their instincts to evade being “trapped.” In a small summary written by Scholastic, the theme of the book is covered. The theme that they discovered is very similar to the one I found from the text. The theme is presented through the character of the spider, and how he is very cunning and will say what he needs to to get what he wants. The dark setting also allows readers to see that the theme hidden in the pictures is one that is darker than most.
At the end of the story there is a letter from the spider of the book that explains the theme in greater depth. This being present in the book is a creative way to reveal the theme and add another layer to the book. The book mostly has two page illustration spreads but there are some pages with just one page. The illustrator, in adding to the creativity of the page, writes the words as if they are in spider webs. The presence of the spider webs helps build the creepy feelings one gets when reading the book. Along with the spider webs, the pages with no pictures has a frame that has dead bugs along the edges. In placing these images there the illustrator is also foreshadowing the ending of the book. Along with these elements, DiTerlizzi draws ghost figures of bugs that have been trapped by the spider already. This is shown in the picture under Visual Elements. Although this book is creepy and has a very dark atmosphere, children will enjoy it because of the illustrations and the great theme that comes out of the book.
I believe these images are very surreal as they are drawn with a lot of detail. The spider is a very intense character and it builds the intensity of the story. It creates a darkness that is overly creepy for the readers. This intense feeling that the reader gets is one of the reasons why this book is so effective. Most of these images are all things that we know exist, spiders, flies and other insects. But the way the illustrator adds all of the extra detail makes these characters so surreal. Almost as if they are creatures we have never seen before. The fly is also overly detailed which adds to her innocent nature.
Elements of Illustration
Interplay of Text and Illustrations
Frequently Asked Questions about Art:.(n.d.). Retrieved February 04, 2016, from http://diterlizzi.com/home/faq-art/
The Spider and the Fly by Tony DiTerlizzi, Mary Botham Howitt | Scholastic.com. (n.d.). Retrieved February 04, 2016, from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/spider-and-fly#cart/cleanup