“ Author: Eric Carle / Format: Hardback / Date of publication: 26 September 1996 / Genre: Baby Books / Subcategory: Picture & Activity Books / Category: Picture Books / Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd / Title: The Very Busy Spider / ISBN 13: 9780241135907 / ISBN 10: 0241135907 „
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This is another lovely book from Eric Carle, the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which is definitely a children's classic. It is a board book and is about the size of half an A4 page, so is perfect for little children to hold.
The story is about a spider who gets blown onto a fence post in the morning, and starts to spin her web. On each page, a different animal tries to distract her - a good opportunity for some funny animal voices - but the spider never answers, she is too busy spinning her web. Each page has an illustration of the animal on the left, and the spider and her web on the right. There is lovely repetition in the book which is great for young children as they can join in with the story and love knowing what is coming next.
As the story goes on, the spider's web gets bigger and bigger, until it is all finished. A cockerel is the next animal to try and distract the spider, asking her to catch a pesky fly. She still doesn't answer, but she does catch the fly in her web, 'just like that'. The last page shows an owl asking who built the web, and night has fallen. Still the spider doesn't answer - but this time because she has fallen asleep!
It is a simply little story which young children will love to hear again and again, and will join in with the refrain 'but the spider didn't answer, she was too busy spinning her web'. Another lovely touch is that some parts of the illustration are slightly raised, so you can run your finger over the spider, web and fly, and feel them.
A fantastic book that is brilliant for toddlers and young children. Highly recommended.
I use this book with young children when studying minibeasts. It's great for showing how the spider builds up a web, which yes can be seen in non-fiction books but this book holds the children's attention and they demonstrate a greater interest in this storybook.
I have the boardbook which is a little too small for a large group of children but it's great on a 1:1 basis or small group situation as the silky thread of the web can be felt as it is slightly raised in the book and it has a lovely silver sheen to it!!
Why is the spider so busy?
The story begins early one morning when the wind blew and the spider landed on a fence near a farm yard. She then begins to spin a web on the fence 'with her silky thread'.
A horse comes over and says:
"Neigh! Neigh! Want to go for a ride?"
But the spider didn't answer. She was very busy spinning her web.
A cow then comes over and says:
"Moo! Moo! Want to eat come grass?"
But yes you guessed it the spider didn't answer as she was to busy spinning her web.
The story continues with different farm animals coming over to the spider trying to entice her in to other activities: a sheep, a goat, a pig, a dog, a cat and a duck.
Finally a rooster comes over and asks if the spider wants to catch a fly and she catches one in her now finished web.
At night, an owl comes over and asks who built the beautiful web. The spider didn't answer as she had fallen asleep, it had been such a busy day!
Very simple style with a lot of repetitive text so that children are able to join in with the 'chant' of:
"The spider didn't answer. She was very busy spinning her web.
Young children will also love joining in with the animal sounds which are encouraged in this book, be prepared for lots of noise if doing this with a large group.
An award winning illustrator, Eric Carle certainly doesn't disappoint with the illustrations in this book, they are superb!
Each double page has a drawing of the animal talking to the spider, with a small fly flying around. The adjacent page has a picture of the fence with the different stages of the web, from one simple silky thread to a complex web at the end of the book.
As stated earlier, my boardbook has a 'feely' web, great for young children.
Most of Eric Carle's books have an educational value and this is certainly no exception.
The repetitive text encourages children's memory as does trying to sequence the different animals that talk to the spider.
Very young children are shown how a web is made in simplistic terms and learn that spider's webs are made from silk and are sticky, thereby able to catch flies for the spider to eat.
Carle uses a lot of punctuation in this book: speech marks, exclamation marks, full stops and apostrophes so depending on the age of the child, different aspects of punctuation can be discussed if required.
Price & Types of book
My boardbook cost £4.99 some years ago and is still in great condition.
Check out www.amazon.co.uk for the following offers on used and new books of the same title:
Boardbook ~ from just 23p
Hardcover ~ from 15p
Paperback ~ from £1
There is also 'My very own busy spider colouring book' available.
Check out www.eric-carle.com for more info on his other fantastic books, e.g.
Papa please get the moon for me?
What's for lunch?
The very clumsy click beetle
Spinning her web keeps the spider busy all day long. A number of animals try to distract the spider from her task, but the spider ignores them as she is too busy spinning. Each page shows the progress of the web which is raised from the page.