Daddy Longlegs at Birch Lane - Summary

Daddy Longlegs at Birch Lane

Daddy Longlegs at Birch Lane (Soundprints Press, 1996) is a Smithsonian Picture Book for ages 4 – 7. Bev learned a lot about these bugs (which the encyclopedia also calls Harvesters) and enjoyed writing this combination of fiction and non-fiction. This was her first published book.

The publisher also sells a stuffed toy to accompany the book. Bev favoured the Canadian daddy-long-legs, a humble brown colour, as her hero, but this time she didn’t get her way. The editor insisted they spotlight the American Harvester, which is orange in color—more captivating in plush than something plainer!

Sandra Blair’s illustrations in this picture book are fabulous. Bev hadn’t seen any of the pictures until after the book was printed, and she was truly honored to have her writing come to life in Sandra’s designs.

Did you know that a Harvester’s sense organs are on its two longest legs? Or that they can shake off a leg as a defense mechanism? Or that mature harvesters can squeeze a strong-smelling liquid from glands near the eyes, protecting themselves from predators such as centipedes? Explore these ideas and more in your fascinating journey into this book.