Review: Luigi: The Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten by Michelle Knudsen

Posted March 27, 2024 by Richetta in Book Reviews, Children's Books / 0 Comments

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Review: Luigi: The Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten by Michelle KnudsenLuigi, the Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten by Michelle Knudsen
Illustrator: Kevin Hawkes
Published by Candlewick Press on March 5, 2024
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship, Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 40
Format: Hardcover
Source: Candlewick Press
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From the New York Times best-selling creators of Library Lion comes a warm (and delightfully fuzzy) storybook about learning to be—and be loved for—exactly who you are.

On a street of old houses, a big hairy spider is searching for a home with dark corners to hide in. But when he wakes up, he finds a hand reaching for him and a lady proclaiming that she has always wanted a kitten—and will name him Luigi! At first, a somewhat puzzled Luigi, used to being left alone to creep and dangle and spin webs, resists her kind advances. But soon, tasty breakfasts and getting tucked into bed (no one’s ever wished him good night before) have him thinking that kittens surely live magical lives. I will be a kitten! he decides. But how long can he keep up his facade, and what might be at stake in pretending to be someone you’re not? The award-winning duo behind Library Lion delivers another classic in the making, marked by humor and depth, endearing characters, and the assurance that the right people will accept and adore us, unconditionally, just as we are.

Luigi: The Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes is a cute, humorous story of a spider and an old lady.

A spider looking for a nice, warm home with some dark corners he can occupy. You know, what spiders do. But then he wakes up to this old lady calling him a kitten.

So the spider figures out really quickly that being “a kitten” is a waaaayyyy better gig than being a spider in this home. He gets breakfast and games to play with the old lady. Also he gets a new name with this impromptu adoption. Yeah, his name was just spider when he walked into this place, now he is Luigi. Super fancy!

So “Luigi” and the old lady get know each other and spend time eating, playing games and watching movies. She even upgrades his sleeping accommodations. So Luigi decides being a kitten is pretty okay after all. Now that he has gotten used to the state of being, he decides to get a little more into this kitten role. I love how the illustrations shift at this point and he starts to look like a kitten. By the way I love the style of illustrations.

But then the old lady tells him that her friends are coming over and he freaks out. Now, I don’t know if Luigi just thought this lady’s eyeglass prescription was bad or if she had a screw loose, but he was not ready to be outed as a spider to his new friend who thinks he is a kitten.

But the lady would not let him hide. So Luigi did his best impression of a kitten for the old lady and her friends. They were very friendly and Luigi thought he was in the clear when one of the friends asks the old lady why she adopted a spider when she wanted a kitten.

Now I’m not 100% sure, but I think one of the lessons of the story is clear communication is valuable. After the party the old day, Betty, lets Luigi know that she knew he was a spider the entire time. But she thought he was having fun pretending to be a kitten so she never said anything. She really did like him for who he really was and wanted him to stay. And just like that Betty and Luigi were friends who accepted each other for who they were.

This story is about companionship, being yourself and trying out new ways of being.

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