A Christmas Spider's Miracle
by Trinka Hakes Noble
Long ago in a faraway place there lived two mothers. One, a humble peasant woman who struggled daily to provide for her children. And the other, a mother spider who also worked hard to care for her family. And although it would appear they were as different as night and day, these two mothers had more in common than would first seem. As the only holiday gift she can give her children, one cold Christmas Eve the peasant woman goes to the forest to get a tree, never noticing that someone has made a home among its branches. During the night, the mother spider spins webs decorating the tree, resulting in a Christmas that neither mother will ever forget. Based on an old Ukrainian story, Trinka Hakes Noble (The Orange Shoes) crafts an original heartwarming tale of the grace that can be found in the true spirit of Christmas. Trinka Hakes Noble's numerous picture books include The Scarlet Stockings Spy (IRA Teachers' Choice 2005), The Last Brother, The Orange Shoes (IRA Teachers' Choice 2008), and Apple Tree Christmas. Ms. Noble lives in northern New Jersey. Stephen Costanza attended the Philadelphia College of Art. His picture books are Mozart Finds a Melody, Noodle Man: The Pasta Superhero, and Ten Big Toes and a Prince's Nose. He lives in Belfast, Maine.
- Dewey: 398.2
- Graphics: Full-color illustrations
- Hardcover (9781585366026): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2012, 09/01/2011
- PDF (9781410307941): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2011, 09/01/2011
- Hosted ebook (9781627534765): 32 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 6 - Age 9
- ATOS Reading Level: 5.6
- ATOS Interest Level: LG
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 147743
- Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5
- JUVENILE FICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / Christmas & Advent (JUV017010)
- JUVENILE FICTION / Fairy Tales & Folklore / Country & Ethnic (JUV012020)
- Storytelling World Awards, Commended, 2013
A Review of "A Christmas Spider’s Miracle" in Publishers Weekly
Reviewed on 23 September 2011
During the “bleakest of winters,” a gentle mother spider that resembles a wooden marionette tends to her children in a fir tree; indoors, a peasant mother mends clothing to earn money for her family. When the woman moves the tree inside for her children, she inadvertently saves the spider and her babies from freezing, and the spider repays her by spinning beautiful decorations for the tree. Costanza contrasts cold, velvety blues with the glowing warm tones of the village and cozy cabin in this classic Ukrainian story about generosity and goodwill. Ages 6–10.
Author: Trinka Hakes Noble
Trinka Hakes Noble is the award-winning author of numerous picture books including The Orange Shoes (2007 National Parenting Publications Awards Honors Winner), The Scarlet Stockings Spy (2005 IRA Teachers’ Choice), The Last Brother, and The Legend of the Cape May Diamond. Ms. Noble also wrote the ever-popular Jimmy’s Boa series and Meanwhile Back at the Ranch, both featured on PBS’s Reading Rainbow. Her many awards include ALA Notable Children’s Book, Booklist Children’s Editors’ Choice, IRA-CBC Children’s Choice, Learning: The Year’s Ten Best, and several Junior Literary Guild Selections.
Ms. Noble has studied children’s book writing and illustrating in New York City at Parsons School of Design, the New School University, Caldecott medalist Uri Shulevitz’s Greenwich Village Workshop, and at New York University. A member of the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature, she was awarded Outstanding Woman 2002 in Arts and Letters in the state of New Jersey for her lifetime work in children’s books. Ms. Noble currently lives in the historic Jockey Hollow area of Bernardsville, New Jersey.
Illustrator: Stephen Costanza
Stephen Costanza attended the Philadelphia College of Art. His picturebooks are “Mozart Finds a Melody”, “Noodle Man: The Pasta Superhero”, and “Ten Big Toes and a Prince’s Nose”.