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Teacher’s Guide


A Clutter of Short Verse on Eight Legs

by Leslie Bulion
illustrated by Robert Meganck

Leslie Bulion, award-winning educator favorite and master of science poetry, is back with a humorous exploration of the silk-spinning, bungee-jumping, hunting, trapping, trick-filled world of spiders!

★ “ Engaging and information rich, this is wonderfully well woven.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Meet spiders that spit silk, roll like wheels, scuba dive, hide under trap doors, strum tunes, and so much more. Watch as they find mates, find prey…or find mates that become prey!

Award-winning poet Leslie Bulion and illustrator Robert Meganck team up again for this clutter (a collective noun for spiders) of short poems and humorously accurate illustrations celebrating the amazing attributes of Araneae.

The book is also packed with helpful sidebars, call-outs, and backmatter, including a glossary of science terms, a description of the poetic forms, a list of common and scientific names, a spider-hunting adventure how-to, resources for further study, and a relative-size chart. A feast for science and animal fans!

Also available:
Amphibian Acrobats
At the Sea Floor Café
Leaf Litter Critters
Random Body Parts
Superlative Birds

Format: Hardcover
Price: $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-68263-192-8
Publication Date: 3/1/2021
Page Count: 48
Size: 8-1/4″ x 9-1/2″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $7.99
ISBN: 978-1-68263-257-4
Publication Date: 3/1/2021
Page Count: 48
Size: 8-1/4″ x 9-1/2″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-68263-361-8
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

F&P: U, Gr 5, Genre I
Lexile: 1170L
Themes: Animal Behavior, Arachnids, Ecology, Science Poetry, Spiders
BISAC 1: JNF003120 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Animals / Insects, Spiders, etc.
BISAC 2: JNF051150 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Zoology
BISAC 3: JNF042010 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Poetry / Humorous


“Cheerfully illustrated… As always, Bulion uses both evocative vocabulary and a variety of poetic forms; these are chosen with care and defined in the backmatter… Engaging and information rich, this is wonderfully well woven.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Abundant scientific information, poetry, and colorful cartoon illustrations…scientific concepts are clearly conveyed, incorporating lively, sometimes icky touches…the enthusiastic tone will help readers find plenty to engage, inform, and intrigue.” —Booklist

“Readers will want to devour the pages… The approachable and accessible verse will make adults and children want to explore the natural world and discover a clutter of spiders…. A fun collection of factual poetry to add to shelves.” —School Library Journal  

“Notes on poetic form are on hand for readers who gravitate to the “A” in their STEAM curriculum, but the verses are also effective as mnemonic devices…teasing wordplay…and wry Gorey-esque bait for the spider grossout fans… Meganck’s digital artwork balances light-hearted cartooning with reliably detailed anatomical drawing.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Book

“Poet Leslie Bulion and illustrator Robert Meganck’s latest collaboration will please fans of their previous collections of science themed poetry. This title…teaches as much as it entertains… Meganck’s whimsical illustrations complement the light-hearted verse. Overall, this is a solid choice for libraries that will enhance both poetry and nonfiction collections.” —School Library Connection   

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Meet the Author

Leslie Bulion

Leslie Bulion is the author of several children’s books, including Uncharted WatersThe Trouble With Rules, and Fatuma’s New Cloth, winner of the African Studies Association’s 2002 Children’s Africana Books. She lives in Connecticut. You can visit  her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Robert Meganck

Designer and illustrator Robert Meganck is a professor of illustration, graphic design, digital imaging, and color theory at Virginia Commonwealth University.  He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI.  He has received over 300 regional, national, and international awards for illustration and graphic design work. He lives in Virginia.