“Spinderella” has been a favourite for some months now. Just in time to spark and fuel a spree of counting and football playing. At this stage, this means running after and kicking the ball between giggles and with the widest smile possible on little gosling’s face! For weeks, everytime we went out to the park, he asked to play football. We had better not forget the ball 😛 

Spinderella is a small, intrepid spider who wants nothing more than to learn about numbers. She finds her family’s absolute disinterest and even disdain on the matter frustrating. Luckily, she lives in a school. With the help of her “hairy godmother”, she learns to count up to twenty, divide up the teams and keep the score at football by paying close attention to the kids at school. She then uses all her newly acquired knowledge to organise her big family into peaceful and fair football playing. 

This is the first Julia Donaldson’s non-rhymed story and one of only two collaborations with other illustrators that we read. But such a big LIKE! The first “fairy godmother” encountered – and oh! Such an original one it is :))). A story about the importance of numbers and basic mathematics. How else would one know how many boots are needed to protect the spider’s feet when playing football, for example? A story about fairness and equal chance; encouraging thirst for knowledge and enabling learning; about not getting discouraged and overcoming surrounding ignorance. Bonus: two strong female role models. One determined and in control. The other one brave enough to learn from her mistakes.

Little gosling gets super excited every time the hairy godmother appears. We take turns counting up to 20 together with the kids and shouting “goooooal” when Spinderella scores the winning point. He finds it hilarious when Spinderella’s family counts everything in “lots” and “loads” and shouts “down with numbers!”. I love it when mummy spider respects Spinderella’s knowledge and takes her guidance, as well as the playful positive strong image school and learning this book portrays. We know now what spiders eat and the use of “up/down with” to express like and dislike. I love little gosling’s habit of repeating the new information and explaining it to me and his daddy again and again.. So sweet! 

Leave a Comment