Skip to Main Content


Illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
See More Retailers

About The Book

One small spider takes a big risk to bring together the people she watches over in her apartment building in this charming picture book from the celebrated author and illustrator of Truman.

Sylvie hangs on a silvery thread, safely hidden under her damp, dark fire escape. Sure, it’s a little too close to the dumpster below, but if she stays carefully out of sight, she can watch over her people in the apartment building above—a painter, a proper lady, a man with a plan, and a girl with an exceptionally brave tortoise.

Day and night, night and day, Sylvie watches over them making sure everything is just so. Lately though, her people seem to be missing…something. Sylvie wants to help, but she’s always stayed out of view. After all, not everyone appreciates a spider who calls attention to herself. When a most audacious idea comes to her though, one that might make everything more than just so, maybe even just right, can Sylvie muster her moxie and risk stepping into the spotlight?

About The Author

Photograph © Suzanne Shaff

Jean Reidy’s bestselling and award-winning picture books have earned their spots as favorites among readers and listeners of all ages and from all over the world.  Her books include Truman and Sylvie, both illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins. She is a three-time winner of the Colorado Book Award, a Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor winner, and recognized on “Best of” lists by School Library JournalThe New York Times, NPR, and Amazon. Jean writes from her home in Colorado where she lives right across the street from her neighborhood library…which she visits nearly every day. Visit her at

About The Illustrator

Jonathan Dorfman

Lucy Ruth Cummins is an author, illustrator, and art director of children’s books. She was happily paired with Jean Reidy for both Truman, which was named a New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2019, and Sylvie. She is also the author-illustrator of StumpkinVampenguinDalmartian: A Mars Rover’s StoryOur Pool, and A Hungry Lionor A Dwindling Assortment of Animals. Lucy has swum in creeks, streams, gorges, rivers, swimming holes, pools (above- and in-ground), lakes (both Great and Finger), decorative fountains, and oceans. Her very favorite place to swim, however, is at her community pool in Brooklyn with her sons and her neighbors.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (May 10, 2022)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534463486
  • Ages: 4 - 8

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

"Reidy records Sylvie’s qualms and enthusiasms with a breathless, enthusiastic voice...while Cummins’s digitally finished multimedia art combines reportorial immediacy with a kind of sketchbook impressionism that takes readers inside Sylvie’s head. Read with or without pandemic-era context in mind, it’s a warming story about the necessity of connection and community."

– Publishers Weekly

"Young readers will enjoy meeting a new small-but-mighty (and spidery) protagonist in this welcome return to the world of Truman, featuring a cameo from the tortoise himself. Laced with lovely alliteration and internal rhyme, the text introduces young listeners to the whimsy of language at storytime...Sylvie’s bubbly effervescence shows readers that it is well worth the courage it takes to be seen."


Awards and Honors

  • Colorado Book Awards Finalist

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Jean Reidy

More books from this illustrator: Lucy Ruth Cummins