A Dozen Silk Diapers


32 pages
ISBN 0-920534-93-7
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Veselina Tomova
Reviewed by Kathy Corrigan

Kathy Corrigan is the journals editor at the OISE Press.


This story recounts the birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem stable through the
eyes of a mother spider who is raising her brood of 40 in a nest under
that stable’s cattle trough. The spider uses her weaving skills to
mend a hole in the leaking roof over the donkey’s stall, and she spins
a cast for the lamb with the broken leg. Then Mary and Joseph happen by,
and little Jesus is laid in the manger. One of the spider’s young
brood, in an effort to catch a glimpse of the babe, stretches out too
far from a beam: he lands, kerplop, right beside the sleeping Jesus.
Mary laughs and gently sends the young spider on its way. To repay such
kindness, the spider and her offspring spend the night spinning and
weaving. By morning, they have produced a dozen silk diapers; these are
laid out with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Based on a German legend, this story has a gentle, simple touch, which
is reinforced by Veselina Tomova’s lovely watercolors (her Jesus is
round and sweet, her stable animals soft-eyed and docile). A sense of
giving and goodwill permeates this book. Recommended.


Kajpust, Melissa., “A Dozen Silk Diapers,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/20545.