Luigi, the Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten

Michelle Knudsen, Kevin Hawkes

Book cover for Luigi, the Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten
Book cover for Luigi, the Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten

Luigi, the Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten

Luigi, the Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten

Michelle Knudsen, Kevin Hawkes

  • Become a member to save 50% off your first order and then 30% on all future orders. Simply add any book to cart and you’ll see an option to become a member
  • 100% of this book's profits go to our community of authors.
Get 50% off your first order, and then 30% off everything
Member Book Price
Monthly Membership
First month free, renews at $5.00

Log in to access your Membership or Book Club price

  • Allstora Membership will renew at $5/month, cancel any time
View full details


From the New York Times best-selling creators of Library Lion comes a warm (and delightfully fuzzy) storybook about learning to be--and be loved for--exactly who you are.

On a street of old houses, a big hairy spider is searching for a home with dark corners to hide in. But when he wakes up, he finds a hand reaching for him and a lady proclaiming that she has always wanted a kitten--and will name him Luigi! At first, a somewhat puzzled Luigi, used to being left alone to creep and dangle and spin webs, resists her kind advances. But soon, tasty breakfasts and getting tucked into bed (no one's ever wished him good night before) have him thinking that kittens surely live magical lives. I will be a kitten! he decides. But how long can he keep up his facade, and what might be at stake in pretending to be someone you're not? The award-winning duo behind Library Lion delivers another classic in the making, marked by humor and depth, endearing characters, and the assurance that the right people will accept and adore us, unconditionally, just as we are.

About the Author

Michelle Knudsen is the New York Times best-selling author of Library Lion, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes; Argus, illustrated by Andréa Wesson; Big Mean Mike, illustrated by Scott Magoon; and Marilyn's Monster, illustrated by Matt Phelan, as well as the Trelian middle-grade fantasy trilogy and the Evil Librarian YA horror-comedy trilogy. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is terrified of spiders.

Kevin Hawkes is the award-winning illustrator of more than fifty acclaimed picture books, including the New York Times best-selling Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, Me, All Alone at the End of the World by M. T. Anderson, The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky, and Sidewalk Circus and Weslandia by Paul Fleischman. He is also the acclaimed author-illustrator of both picture books and chapter books. Kevin Hawkes lives in Maine.

Critical Reviews

Softly shadowed acrylic and pencil art by Hawkes deftly renders furry Luigi as remarkably kitten-like.
--Publishers Weekly

The silly, sweet story is packed with humor and marvelous minutiae, and the lovely acrylic-and pencil illustrations capture adorable arachnid antics while offering a great sense of scale from a tiny point of view. A marvelous message of unconditional acceptance sure to make an arachnid ally out of any young reader.

The hearts of even the most strident arachnophobes will melt at this story of unlikely pals, and the ultimate message of loving oneself and one's friends just as they are remains a worthy one. Gentle shading and subtle hatchmarks along with pastel hues give an overall feeling of coziness, rendering any sort of creepy-crawly creepiness moot. Wide-eyed Luigi cleverly uses his multiple appendages to shape triangle ears and a furry, expressive tail in a disguise that is as imaginative as it is precious. . . a cuddly lap might make the perfect venue for this story of friendship in unexpected places.
--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Timeless. . . good-hearted.
--Kirkus Reviews

Knudsen and Hawkes, the team behind The Library Lion, team up for a sweet tale that approaches the trope about being yourself from a slightly different angle. . . kids will relate to trying on another persona and appreciate reassurance that they don't need to change who they are to be loved. This works well as a read-aloud as children will enjoy the spider pretending to be a kitten, the crisis in identity which the spider works through, and the subsequent happy ending. A welcome addition to picture book shelves.
--School Library Journal

Anybody who thinks spiders can't be cute will be proven wrong with this charmingly illustrated story about identity and honesty. With acrylics and pencil, Hawkes uses both shadows and Luigi's long spider legs to expertly convey his kitten-ness, and read-alouds can be paired with easy challenges to kids to match Luigi's actions. . . Luigi, the Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten warms the heart, highlighting how freeing the truth can be, as well as the fact that you can be more than one thing--so long as you're happy.

Publishing Information

Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Pub date: 2024-03-05
Length: 40 pages

The Allstora Membership

Membership Perks:

  • Save 30% on all online store purchases
  • Exclusive access to author's content
  • You pay less, but authors still earn double

Membership Terms:

First Month: $0.00
Monthly price: $5.00
  • To access membership discount simply log in and add to cart, discount applied automatically.
  • One month free trial, cancel anytime. Membership renews on the 15th of each month.