Gregory the Spider

Romping through the Year

Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 10/01/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Cynthia Dreeman Meyer is also the author of Merry Stirring Mice: Santa's Secret Team. In addition to writing, Cynthia is a preschool music teacher, the creator and founder of her hometown Senior Resource Center's annual Christmas Tree Festival, a black-belt in Isshinryu Karate, a retired attorney, and an award-winning Christmas Tree decorator. She lives in New Jersey with her husband Ken. Their three wonderful sons, Max, Kenny, and Gregory are all out in the world, making it a better place. They have two pups, Gracie and Scout.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Gregory the Spider: Romping through the Year is a children’s picture book written by Cynthia Dreeman Meyer and illustrated by Marina Saumell. Gregory the Spider doesn’t have a favorite month; he loves them all. In this brightly colored and cheerful book that explores those things that make each month special, children and their caregivers will have the opportunity to find references to holidays, seasonal weather, and other exciting hidden treasures, including the cleverly disguised month that Gregory happens to be romping through on that page. Meyer includes a checklist in the back of her book to help readers make sure they haven’t missed anything important -- but there’s even more to be discovered by working with both the book and Meyer’s full list of items and their significance, which can be found on the website she lists on that page.

There’s a lot more to be had from reading Cynthia Dreeman Meyer’s children’s picture book, Gregory the Spider: Romping through the Year, than your usual children’s reading fare. Each page is a treasure house of facts, natural history and other items to delight and amaze. I began looking forward to the backpacks I found on several pages that had books with titles such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks’ Life, and Susan B. Anthony. Then there were the birds: a Snowy Owl, Bald Eagle and Pileated woodpecker -- and that’s just a small sample of the wonders of nature to be found in this deceptively slender book. Each page informs as it delights, and I can easily see young readers spending hours happily chasing the seasons with this marvelous and friendly spider. Gregory the Spider: Romping through the Year is most highly recommended.

Fiona Ingram

Gregory the Spider: Romping through the Year is an enchanting children’s picture book written by Cynthia Dreeman Meyer and illustrated by Marina Saumell. Gregory the spider takes young readers on a pictorial romp through the year, with significant dates and days of celebration cleverly woven into the full page, full colour illustrations. Gregory invites young readers to follow him as he turns the first page in a lovely adventure of seasonal fun. His friends, Max and Molly Mouse, take part in each month’s romp, and Gregory features significantly, often getting into the spirit of things by wearing a costume or hat. Through sunshine, rain, wind, snow, and ice, Gregory shows youngsters the seasons and significant holidays, special days, or moments in the calendar.

First, the illustrations are absolutely beautiful, adorable, and detailed. Readers will definitely spend some time poring over the images and making discoveries. The images are also deceptively simple because, as youngsters read with an adult, they can be encouraged to spot the clues hidden in each picture to indicate the name of the month and other fun features that make the month special. A check list at the end of the book will help young sleuths. The author invites readers to investigate further on her website for a full list of items to find in each picture, and their significance. However, it will be good for parents or teachers to let young readers try for themselves to find the important items and to guess the significance of each month.

The story itself is told quite simply, and possibly because not much wording is needed. The rhyme reminded me somewhat of the familiar Incy Wincy Spider nursery rhyme. The illustrations have a kind of energy that “romps” along as well as one turns the pages. Gregory is a surprise main character because spiders don’t usually end up in the spotlight. Gregory is a delightful “narrator” with his antics, his appropriate costumes, and his expressive eyes! The captivating cover promises a treasure trove of interesting details inside and young readers will not be disappointed. A lovely storybook to share with family members, or as a gift to a young reader; a book that will be read over and over again!