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Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite
If you love spiders but especially if you do not love spiders, Lisa Gammon Olson’s book River of Light is for you. River of Light is a story about a spider that has spent all its life in a cold, damp cellar. One day some mortar falls out of the wall and a golden ray of light pierces the darkness. The warm golden ray intrigues and delights the spider and, despite warnings from other spiders like the Black Widow and the Wolf spider, he ventures toward that light. Spider discovers the beautiful, colorful warm world outside and wants to stay. With encouragement from a striking black and yellow garden spider, he spins his web just outside the cellar, so he can enjoy the warmth but return to visit the cellar in the evening.
Lisa Gammon Olson has done a wonderful job incorporating facts about spiders in the tale of a cellar-dwelling spider. River of Light introduces us to Black Widow spiders, Wolf spiders, and others. Within the story, she shares facts about spiders’ multiple eyes but poor eyesight, and what spiders feast on. Mauro Magellan has brought the natural world of the cellar and outdoors to life in very vivid and striking images. Even though I am not a huge fan of spiders, River of Light does a marvelous job of detailing the fascinating world of spiders. The list of facts at the end provides even more reasons to appreciate the importance of spiders. This was my favorite – “Spiders eat more insects than bats and birds combined.” River of Light is the perfect introduction to the world of spiders!