How to Befriend a Butterfly 06/08/20
Milton the Megastar
Publisher: Chicken House
Milton, the adorable house spider who saved his species to become the face of the Spider Warriors campaign in Milton the Mighty, is struggling with the pressures of fame. There are so many events to worry about and so much fan mail to reply to… no wonder Milton’s a bit tetchy! His spider friends Ralph and Audrey, and his human friend Zoe, reckon he could do with a holiday – and Hawaii sounds like the perfect choice.
But it’s not all luaus and cocktail umbrellas – thanks to a devious billionaire who welcomes Zoe and her family to the island, a tropical spider species under threat from deforestation, and a volcano on the brink of erupting, there’s not a lot of time for Milton to put his eight feet up!
This lovely sequel is a well-paced and thoughtful story with so many important themes at its heart – Milton’s anxiety is gently explained and supported by his friends, and when Zoe expresses her own anger she’s reassured by her Dad that she is loved and hasn’t done anything wrong. There are moments of brilliant humour which will appeal to adults and children alike (in particular, Ralph the spider trying to coax Milton out of his hole by pretending that celebrity naturalist Steve Backshall is downstairs), as well as strong messages about the importance of conservation and protecting wildlife.
Even the seasoned arachnophobes among us will struggle not to fall in love with the illustrations of Milton and his friends – especially the happy-face spiders with their penchant for singing. Author Emma Read has included some fabulous spider facts at the end of the book too, aimed at children who want to learn more about the wonderful world of often-misunderstood arachnids. Whilst reading the first instalment in the series may help children to understand the background of Milton and the Spider Warriors, it can also be read as a standalone story.