The Eensy Weensy Spider Freaks Out!

What It Is

A trend in adult literature has been to take a classic tale and give it a “what if” twist. Troy Cummings has done just that with the classic rhyme “The Eensy Weensy Spider” and his first children’s book. His story dares to ask and answer the question “What if the Eensy Weensy Spider was too afraid to climb back up the water spout?” It’s possible, right?

After getting washed down the water spout, the spider, a female named “Eensy,” puts the breaks on and flat out refuses to climb back up. Embarrassed by bad press, she hides out. A friend comes to her rescue and convinces Eensy to try climbing again. After easily scaling a plant, Eensy realizes that climbing is her true calling and goes on to climb a bunch of things. When she approaches a house, she climbs right on up to the roof, without even realizing that she went right up the ol’ water spout! With her confidence at an all-time high, she wants to climb things that are even higher and keeps going, eventually finding herself on a rocket that blasts off into outer space, ending the story with a look back at Earth.

Why It’s Fun

Mr. Cummings’ story idea is very clever, and his illustrations feature some witty plays on pop culture, such as the local newspaper called the “Spider Insider: All the News That’s Fit to Spin.” We also learn a sweet lesson about friendship and believing in yourself. Eensy’s friend is sympathetic to her situation, but pushes her towards climbing again and stuck with her every step of the way. Eensy courageously started with a small climb and, with each step, gained new confidence until she believed there wasn’t anything too high for her to scale.

Who’s Going To Love It

Anyone who knows the tale and appreciates a bit of irony will enjoy the story but preschoolers probably won’t be able to appreciate Mr. Cummings’ twist of the classic rhyme. The title and cover graphics are very compelling, but after the initial, brief “freak out” of Eensy, the humor doesn’t really continue. The story, which preschoolers will still enjoy, is similar to “The Little Engine That Could” and teaches a valuable lesson. Check out Eensy’s adventure from the local library before adding it to your child’s collection.

Reading Time

About 3 to 4 minutes

Read-It-Again Points

7 out of 10

Book Information

The Eensy Weensy Spider Freaks Out!
By: Written and Illustrated by Troy Cummings
Published by: Random House Children’s Books (2010)
Approximate retail price: $16.99 (hardcover)

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