Have you ever noticed the raised letters on a business card or stationery? The same method is used to create the spider web in The Very Busy Spider. It’s called thermography and this is how it works: A plastic substance is used to print webs on the paper and then the paper is baked in an oven. The baking makes the lines of the web puff up and harden.

As for The Very Quiet Cricket, a sound chip has been placed inside the back cover. You can’t see it, but perhaps you can feel it if you gently rub it. A tiny battery, the type used for cameras, supplies the power to make it chirp. The voice or chirp, comes from that sound chip. The Very Quiet Cricket in a way is a love story.

A similar computer chip has been placed inside the back cover of The Very Lonely Firefly. A tiny battery supplies the power to little circuits, like trails, to the light bulbs that are the flashers of the fireflies. So when you open to the last page you are treated to a firefly show that you usually only see in the summer..

So think of this: Books have been around since Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press about 1440. Before that, books were copied by hand. But the computer chip and plastic make The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Lonely Firefly, and The Very Busy Spider very modern books. It’s wondrous to see how combining the old and the new can create something that is magical.