Jessica Lanan
Cover image of picture book 'Jumper: A Day in the Life of a Backyard Jumping Spider' showing a jumping spider walking on the ground in profile with bright light behind.

Jumper: A Day in the Life of a Backyard Jumping Spider

Written and illustrated by Jessica Lanan
Roaring Brook/Macmillan Kids, 2023
ISBN: 9781250810366

What if you were small as a bean,
Could walk on the walls and ceiling,
Sense vibrations through your elbows,
And jump five times your body length?

That is Jumper's world.

Available now from your favorite bookseller:

Winner of the Robert F. Sibert Honor, 2024

An ALA Notable Book, 2024

Winner of the 2023 Cybils Award for Elementary Nonfiction

Winner of the Golden Kite Honor for Picture Book Illustration

NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Book, 2024

A Junior Library Guild selection

Kirkus Best Book, 2023

Booklist Editor's Choice, 2023

Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2023

New York Public Library: Best Books for Kids, 2023

Chicago Public Library: Best Informational Books for Young Readers, 2023

Evanston Public Library: 101 Great Books for Kids, 2023

NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, 2023

Science Friday: 2023's Best Science Books for Kids

A 2023 Nerdy Book Club Nonfiction Winner

Throughout, imagination has been harnessed to engage with the natural world without anthropomorphism [...] Readers will leap for this magnificent glimpse at a most marvelous arachnid.

An immersive exploration of a common jumping spider’s abilities and physical traits.

An exceptionally empathetic exploration of the natural world sure to inspire new arachnid allies. accessible and thought-provoking title that connects readers to the world of a spider through engagement and education.

Taken from a spider’s p.o.v., it does this marvelous job of showing how the senses that we humans use to navigate the world are exceedingly different from those of your average little spider.

...a magical, beautiful, interesting, fascinating book that I think leads kids to want to read more, to know more... wow.

Simple but cinematic...satisfyingly dramatic.


Lanan asks readers to imagine what life would be like as a regal jumping spider as they learn about this creature’s traits and life cycle alongside a young girl who is observing one [...] Lush and dramatic.

Classroom Resources

Researching JUMPER

An interview with spider scientist Paul Shamble about spiders, empathy, the research process behind the book, and the importance of noticing the little things in our backyards.

Ink line drawing showing two jumping spiders surrounded by leaves.

Jumper Coloring Page

Color your own jumping spiders! Available as a PDF for printing at home or school.

Preview showing multiple pages of spider body parts PreK/elementary school anatomy activity.

Spider Anatomy Activity

Montessori-based spider anatomy activity for preK or early elementary. Includes instructions.

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