My rating: 5 of 5
A spider is blown to a farmyard fence post, and she immediately sets to work. Throughout the day, all sorts of farm animals stop by to ask her to play, but the spider is intent on spinning her web. Finally, the web is finished, and her hard work is rewarded.
The Very Busy Spider is a very well-crafted picture book in classic Eric Carle style. The art work is, of course, both attractive and interesting, using all sorts of interesting colors and textures. Additionally (at least in the board book version), the spider, spiderweb, and fly are raised to create some interesting tactile interaction with the pages–which is great for younger kids! Also great for little ones, this book introduces a variety of barnyard animals as well as the noises they are typically said to make and some normal activities for them. On a slightly more advanced level, it also visibly shows how a spider’s web is crafted, demonstrating the weaving throughout the entire book. Finally, the story uses a repeating refrain throughout that ties everything together nicely, especially for little kids. I think that for a 1- to 4-year-old audience (although possibly older as well), The Very Busy Spider is an excellent picture book that is both entertaining and educational.