Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review and Author Interview: When a Spider Came to Stay by Rebecca Crosdale, Illustrated by Charles Bertton

*****This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.*****

My Review of When a Spider Came to Stay:

A spider is hanging around a girl, making beautiful webs. She has a way of letting the girl know she wants to share her space with her, even though the spider was not speaking in a way that she could totally understand. She wonders where the silk is coming from out of the spider but she isn’t able to tell. She offers the spider some human food and she explains how her taste buds are different than humans. Even though the girl and the spider don’t speak the same language, they are able to communicate in a unique way.

This book really gave me a different outlook on spiders, and I hope it will do the same for children. I have usually thought of spiders’ webs as being kind of a nuisance because whenever I notice them I want to clean them up immediately. This book showed me the creativity of spiders making webs, and how they were created to do so. It also does a good job of showing children not to be afraid of spiders, and that there might be some friendly spiders out there. There is a discussion guide at the back of the book also that seems quite handy for teachers and parents; it offers suggestions for leading children to realizations and understandings about the story.

My review = 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of material connection: I received a free copy of this book from Bostick Communications / Rebecca Crosdale in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Rebecca Crosdale was born on the island of Jamaica in 1955. The first 
fourteen years of her life were spent there helping her grandparents on their 
small farm. During her years in Jamaica, she learned the valuable lesson of 
hard work. It was a culture where children were expected to work as hard as 
grownups and sometimes even harder. 

In the meantime, she attended the Middleton Primary School to the age of twelve 
and then Morant Bay High until she was fourteen. She immigrated to England at the age of fourteen where she joined her father who had been living there for some time. She began attending Hatters Lane School for girls. This school was located in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. 
Her education was cut short as she graduated from Hatters Lane two years 
later. She graduated with a Certificate of Secondary Education in Art, English, 
Mathematics and Religious Knowledge. 

After graduating school in England, she went on to work in the Harrison Stamp 
Factory. There she had the opportunity to stand in the presence of the Queen 
of England, the Duke of Edinburgh and her two younger sons, Andrew and 
Edward. She later went on to London School of Technologies for basic 
computer skills after which she worked a Key Punch Operator at G-Plan 
Furniture in High Wycombe. 

After spending 9 years in England, she immigrated to the United States where 
she now resides. She's been no less busy since her arrival in America. She 
attended and graduated from Suffolk Community College (AA. Degree) and 
Stony Brook University with a BA Degree. Afterward, she put her skills to use 
and has worked in the Human Services Field in areas such as Mental Health 
and Mental Retardation. She worked for the Long Island Developmental 
Disabilities Office for almost 25 years. She currently works at EPIC Long 
Island, as Medicaid Service Coordinator, advocating on the behalf of people 
with mental cognition. 

When she’s not working to help others, Ms. Crosdale is an avid traveler, 
traveling across many continents. In the course of her travels she has 
experienced many different cultures and has learned a lot about the different 
peoples she has met.

She has trekked the globe from Europe to Egypt, from North America to 
Bogota, Colombia, from China to India, and visited many of the island in the 
Caribbean. She has touched the rocks of Stone Henge, climbed the Eiffel Tower, 
dropped a penny in the Trevi Fountain, and ridden the gondola in Venice. She’s 
walked with the Pigeons in Florence, climbed to mount Elijah in the Greek Isles, 
walked in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, climbed into the Pyramid of Egypt, 
walked on the Great Wall of China, visited with the monks in Ankor Wat 
Cambodia, visited with the Terra Cotta Soldier and passed through the Panama 

Rebeca also enjoys gardening, cooking and photography.
She has a great desire to share some of her experiences, many with children 
who may never have the experiences or enjoy the firsthand knowledge that she 
has gained.

Writing, she feels, is probably the best way to share.The innocuous Spider in “The Spider In My Den” inspired her to begin writing and she has now completed her first children’s book with many more to follow.

Author Interview

1. When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your 

I have always felt the desire deep within me to write, but, like many aspiring authors, 
there was another voice that thought it was foolish. I also lacked the confidence to 
share my dream and was often embarrassed to reveal it. I needed to overcome my 
inner fears. There were other deterrents as well. When I did put pen to paper, 
oftentimes my efforts were not taken seriously, and the feedback was not always 
pleasant to hear. Nevertheless, I was determined to complete all the books that I 
started over the years. Perseverance paid off and now I am a published author.

2. Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:

My latest work and second in a series of children's books is called "When a Spider 
Came to Stay". It’s a story about two unlikely friends that teaches about friendship, 
tolerance, work (spider's work) and courage.

3. What are your future aspirations as an author?

My future aspirations as an author are to continue writing other children's books, and
my own autobiography.

4. Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life 
influence your writing?

My ideas come from my life experiences, occurrences on a given day, as well as the 

many lessons I have learned from countries and places that I have visited.

5. What do you do to improve yourself and a writer?

I actively look at the works of others for perspective. With my own work, I have my 
friends as well as professional writers to critique and give me constructive criticism 
of my efforts. I also have them advise me as to where and how to improve my stories. 
Sometimes I rely on my own initiatives and becomes my worst critic.

6. What are the names of your books? 

"The Spider in My Den", “When a Spider Came to Stay" and “A Thump in the Garden" 
which is soon to be published.

7. What inspires you to write? 

I have many stories in my head that I need to put on paper.

8. Tell us a little bit about your next book. 

"A Thump in the Garden" is written and edited and I am waiting on the illustrator to 
complete the drawings. Like the first two books, it is a story about friendship, 
compassion, diversity and understanding between friends of different backgrounds.

9. Where can people contact you?

The best way to reach me is through my website From there you 
can find my phone and email contacts, as well as my social media pages on Facebook 

and Twitter.

10. Did you publish with a traditional publishing house or did you go the indie route? 

My preferred path has been as an indie publisher. The first book "The Spider in My 
Den" was published by The second book, "When a Spider Came to Stay" 
was published using Amazon CreateSpace. Both books are also being distributed 

11. Do you read the reviews of your work and how do they affect your writing?

I make every effort to read all of my reviews and I take to heart all that the reviewers 
offer in the hopes of constantly improving my writing and the depth of my stories
12. What works best for you when writing? Meaning do you outline or write freely 
when you feel inspired to do so? 

I write freely.

13. What is your final advice for other aspiring authors?

Never give up on your dream. Never give in to self doubt or your own lack of 
confidence. Write every day. Get those stories out of your head and on paper. From 

there, anything and everything is possible.

How to Connect with Rebecca Crosdale:

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