Authors cast spiders in a new light

By Geoff Berkeley Friday 22 February 2013 Updated: 22/02 08:44

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Buy photos » Marisa Lewis and Jane McGee have joined forces to produce a new children’s book about spiders. (s)

SPIDERS have been cast in a new light after two former University of Worcester students came together to produce a new illustrated children's book for the web.

Marisa Lewis and Jane McGee's e-book, called The Spider that Came in from the Cold, has been created in a bid to change people's perception of spiders.

The idea came after Dr McGee, who completed her PhD at the city's university in 2011, took a group of students on a spider phobia workshop.

She said: "I was amazed that students who were initially afraid of spiders all volunteered to handle the Chilean Rose Tarantula at the end of the session.

"This shows that familiarity can reduce fears and even increase a liking of spiders.

"The majority of spiders are harmless. In fact, there is more chance of getting bitten by a cute kitten than a spider."

The story features five main spider characters and is intended to be the first in a series of children’s books, each focusing on one of the five characters.

Miss Lewis added: "I was delighted to get involved in illustrating this book. I thought it was a really different idea to other projects I had worked on."

The book can be viewed online at www.alfiedog.com/products-page/dr-j-e-mcgee/

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