Visiting the lore of 14 different peoples, Max (the pseudonym of writing team Ronia K. Davidson and Kelly Bennett) offers some intriguing spins on the spider’s role in Native American legend. Here the spider occasionally plays the part of trickster but most often appears as Spider Woman, “”Grandmother of the Earth,”” variously representing wisdom, good fortune or light. Some of the stories’ best lines are delivered by arachnids (for example, the heroine of an Osage legend explains why she is superior to other creatures: “”Where I am, I build my house…. And where I build my house, all things come to it””). The entries are sometimes long-winded and potentially confusing; standouts, on the other hand, include a Zuni tale in which a trickster tarantula gets the last laugh and an Achomawi legend that describes how the Spider Brothers helped Old Man Above create the first rainbow. Full-page illustrations by six Native American artists make up the volume’s uneven graphics.