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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Sylvana is an orb-weaver spider. Her siblings had long since left the cozy silver maple tree where Sylvana felt content and safe in her little corner of the tree. That is, until she met the caterpillar who was excited that he would soon turn into a dagger moth and fly away. And then there was the baby robin who had just tested his wings for the first time. They had overcome their fear of flying, but, as Sylvana watched the silver maple samaras swirl past her to the ground, she started to think about how to overcome her fear. She really did want to experience the swirling flight of these samaras that carried silver maple seeds to the ground. With help from her cousin, Sylvana took the leap and sat on a samara as it made its spiralling descent.
We all have fears. It’s only natural. How we face them is another matter. And sometimes it takes a lot of courage as well as encouragement from family and friends. Melanie Claire Blinn Eulberg’s little picture book story, Sylvana Takes a Spin, will delight young readers and encourage them to face their own fears. With beautiful illustrations by Gail M. Nelson, the story develops in a simple plot, outlining the little spider’s fear of flying, fear of leaving her safe place on the silver maple tree. With chance encounters with other creatures who bravely face their own initial fear of flying, Sylvana learns to meet her fear head on and boldly takes the plunge. A real treasure, full of encouragement and useful information about spiders, silver maple trees, dagger moths and robins.