Today it is my pleasure to feature Author Annette Whipple with the third STEM book in her Truth About series: SCURRY! THE TRUTH ABOUT SPIDERS (Reycraft Books). Annette is here to tell you about her research and some fascinating facts about these amazing creatures. And she will be GIVING AWAY A SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK TO ONE WINNER CHOSEN AT RANDOM FROM THOSE WHO LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST. Now, here’s Annette:
Thanks so much for featuring Scurry! The Truth About Spiders on your blog! Since Scurry is the third book in the series, I finally had a few things figured out. Researching it was a ton of fun. I knew it would be a question- and-answer book and that I wouldn’t be able to include all the cool information I learned.
After some very basic spider research (no note-taking, just wanting to better understand spiders in general), I began brainstorming. I used the bubble method and explained how I did it for the topic of spiders and specifically for Scurry! The Truth About Spiders in this blog post about nonfiction brainstorming. https://www.annettewhipple.com/2021/07/how-to-brainstorm-nonfiction-writing.html
After brainstorming, I categorized similar topics together and decided (loosely) what questions I wanted to include in this Q&A book. That narrowed my research quite a bit. I took notes in a spiral notebook and printed out and saved bunches and bunches of research, too. (Keep an eye out for a blog post about my research notebooks. It’s on my to-do list.)
Once I began researching, I used books focusing on spiders (even a field guide), as well as websites like https://arachnology.org/ and published papers. I consulted with an expert who had over 60 years of experience studying spiders. He answered my questions and reviewed my manuscript (with small suggestions and clarifications). I also worked with another spider expert…and met hundreds of tarantulas! I even held one! And I might have brought a spider exoskeleton home with me. Edna’s been a huge hit during author visits. (I always warn people before I remove her from her box.)
I knew spiders were cool, but through my research, I found out they are truly fascinating! I’ll share 3 spider-ific facts!
1. I was surprised to learn that 99.9% of spiders are not dangerous to people. Insects—very dangerous. People—very rarely! Honestly, I thought that was an exaggerated statistic. But it’s true!
2. If a spider is in danger, they can self-amputate. So if a bird grabs onto a spider’s leg, the spider can just pop off that leg—and grow a new one! Or at least it will grow a new leg if it has another molt left.
3. We use our tongue to taste, ears to hear, and nose to smell…but spiders use the hairs on their bodies to sense their world! (Most spiders have very poor vision. Jumping spiders are the exception to that.)
I love to include activities in my books, especially activities that get kids focused on STEM. A web-building challenge is included in the back of the book!
Even if you don’t love spiders, I hope you’ll give Scurry! The Truth About Spiders a try! Just request it at your local library or bookstore. Oh, one more fun fact…the hardcover editions of
The Truth About books include a full-size poster! I think that’s pretty cool and am so thankful that Reycraft Books puts so much thought into creating beautiful books for readers.
Other titles in this wonderful and informative series are: Whooo Knew? The Truth About Owls, and Woof! The Truth About Dogs. Next year the series will continue with a book about frogs and another about cats!
To be entered in the giveaway of a signed copy of SCURRY! THE TRUTH ABOUT SPIDERS, leave a comment. If you share this post on social media, let me know and I will give you a second chance to win. US residents only, please.
Annette Whipple celebrates curiosity and inspires a sense of wonder while exciting readers about science and history. She’s the author of ten fact-filled children’s books including The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide (Chicago Review Press), The Story of the Wright Brothers (Rockridge Press), and Whooo Knew? The Truth About Owls (Reycraft Books). The Truth About series also includes books about dogs, spiders, frogs, and cats. When Annette’s not reading or writing, you might find her baking for her family in Pennsylvania. Get to know her and explore her resources for teachers and writers at http://www.AnnetteWhipple.com.