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Some years ago, Penny emailed me to say she had a book idea. And was it okay that it was nonfiction? I said it was absolutely okay and what was the subject. 

Folks, confession time. I really don’t like spiders. I won’t enter a room if there is a spider on the ceiling. (Call it a very bad experience with spiders in my younger years. They still scare me very much.) And when Penny told me what the book was about, I thought “oh no, this is the first book idea that a client has that I can’t work on because I will be too scared.”

So, in truth, I could never be Nan Songer with thousands of spiders in her home, but I’m truly proud of Penny for writing this amazing book. First of all, it’s an astounding story, second of all, Penny wrote it so that even I, her spider-phobic agent can bear it, and third, kids are going to love Nan’s story. 

For all you fellow spider scaredy-cats, THOUSANDS OF SPIDERS!!! 

Okay, I’m done freaking out now. 

Carolyn Yoder at Astra/Calkins Creek has acquired North American rights to Spider Lady: Nan Songer and Her Arachnid WWII Army by Penny Parker Klostermann(l.), illustrated by Anne Lambelet. This debut nonfiction picture book biography tells the story of a woman who raised thousands of spiders in her home and harvested their silk for the war effort. Publication is planned for spring 2025; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the illustrator. 

Congratulations, Penny!

—Trish