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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at


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Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Arachnabet by Tracey M. Cox

Arachnidas or arachnids, those eight legged critters, now have their own alphabet book, Arachnabet, by Tracey M. Cox. If you are a spider lover or an arachnophobe – someone afraid of them, this book will enlighten you about these amazing animals. Yes, arachnids are animals. A new fact I learned from this book:

~I= Identifying a spider: A spider is a small animal, not an insect.
Spiders have eight legs and a body divided into two parts

In Arachnabet, Tracey M. Cox has incredible photographs which show us these unique creatures in their habitats. The alphabet letters have pictures accompanying the arachnids with a name, question or fact. At the end of the book there are more detailed explanations and information. Hopefully, this book will inspire young readers, age five to twelve, to enjoy these fascinating facts and want to further study arachnids.

Depending on your perspective, these are beautiful, frightening or annoying animals. My experience with spiders is a love/hate one. I love the Daddy Long Legs spiders that prey on mosquitoes. I hate the Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders that hide everywhere and whose bites are poisonous. When I see Tarantulas they are so big they scare me. Learning more about them does help:

            ~T= Tarantulas are one of the biggest spiders. They are hairy and
scary looking, but won’t bite unless you bother them. Tarantulas are
also the longest living spider. Females can live up to 25 years.

Because arachnids have important roles in our ecosystem, learning more about them helps us appreciate them more. This may somewhat ease the fears that horror movie makers have capitalized on over the years. 

I trust that teachers, parents, and students will find this book interesting and educational. Perhaps it will help stimulate more study and research into these amazing animals. Thank you, Tracey M. Cox, for this interesting and colorful contribution to arachnid lore.

Available from: 



  1. My relationship with spiders is more Love than hate. I always rescue and put outside any that I find in the house. I almost had a close encounter with black widow once; my daughter save me from getting bitten.
    This book sounds very informative and fun. Thanks for the review, Penny.
    Congratulations and best wishes, Tracey.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Barbara. I try to save them when I can. But if they're black or brown, they go down! I have a pet spider living in my car mirror so I have to keep cleaning the web to see, he he. Then it just spins again. I can only get ahead for about a day.

    2. Forgot to mention the spider spins its web around my outside driver mirror. I clean and clean, but it always comes back. It's great at Halloween, otherwise, not so much.

  2. What an intriguing book Tracey. Great review Penny. I don't care for spiders myself, but I'm sure the children will be thrilled to read about them. I know they can be beautiful, and important to the ecosystem. As long as they don't crawl on me, I'll be happy. Wishing you great success with your new book Tracey.

    1. Thanks, Susan, Yes, I think kids will enjoy the facts and the pictures are great. Still some will find these creatures scary.

  3. I think this is an excellent idea and great for classrooms. But I have to admit, I HATE SPIDERS. :) Have you ever seen that movie about the killer spiders--John Goodman is in it? That movie has stuck with me all these years. . .Best of luck to Tracey and I know there are boys out there that will devour this book!

  4. Thanks for your comments, Margo. There are at least 8 horror movies about spiders. Most recently, I remember Harry and Ron's adventures with those huge spiders - especially Hagrid's friend Aragog. Yes, boys will love the icky scariness, but girls should appreciate the photos and facts.

  5. Even though I hate spiders, I loved your review, Penny! Sounds like a very intriguing educational book!

    1. Thanks, Melissa, appreciate your comments. This is s good book to start kids thinking and researching about spiders and other arachnids.

  6. Terrific review. Best wishes with the book!

  7. HI Nancy, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Wishing Tracey lots of success.