The Very Busy Spider

The Very Busy Spider

Board Book

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A VERY classic from Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Early one morning a little spider spins her web on a fence post. One by one, the animals of the nearby farm try to distract her, yet the busy little spider keeps diligently at her work. When she is done, she is able to show everyone that not only is her creation quite beautiful, it is also quite useful!

This multi-sensory book allows children to feel the pictures as well as see them. And with its rhythmic text, The Very Busy Spider becomes an experience to touch, to see, and to hear.

"A beautifully executed work for the very young that satisfies the needs of both visually handicapped and sighted children without losing its artistic integrity."--The Horn Book, starred review

"Both sighted and blind children will follow the action with ease . . . Visually and verbally, this is a winner."--Booklist, starred review.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399229190
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 08/28/1995
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 35,685
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.71(d)
Lexile: 330L (what's this?)
Age Range: 1 - 3 Years

About the Author

Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 25 languages and sold over twelve million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than sixty books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote.

Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old; he was educated there, and graduated from the prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Kunste, in Stuttgart. But his dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories. So, in 1952, with a fine portfolio in hand and forty dollars in his pocket, he arrived in New York. Soon he found a job as a graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times. Later, he was the art director of an advertising agency for many years.

One day, respected educator and author, Bill Martin Jr, called to ask Carle to illustrate a story he had written. Martin's eye had been caught by a striking picture of a red lobster that Carle had created for an advertisement. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the result of their collaboration. It is still a favorite with children everywhere. This was the beginning of Eric Carle's true career. Soon Carle was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle's art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension - die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly, even the lifelike sound of a cricket's song as in The Very Quiet Cricket - giving them a playful quality: a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers. The secret of Eric Carle's books' appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.

The themes of his stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature - an interest shared by most small children. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the child the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience.

Carle says: "With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates - will they be friendly? I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun."

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Group (USA) Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.


Northampton, Massachusetts and the Berkshires

Date of Birth:

June 25, 1929

Place of Birth:

Syracuse, New York


Akademie der bildenden Künste, Stuttgart, 1946-50

Customer Reviews

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The Very Busy Spider 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
num More than 1 year ago
I bought this as a gift since my kids love the book. The animal sounds are their favorite part.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eric Carle is a very popular children's author in our classroom. His illustrations are vibrant and this story has a repetitive refrain that makes it ideal for child participation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 1 year old likes the animals sounds. He says 'Moo Moo' and 'Baa Baa' as soon as he sees the pictures. After a few months of reading this to him he's finally interested in the spider and feeling the web.
jebass on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The sun comes up and a spider begins to spin a web of silky thread. Throughout the day, farm animals approach the very busy spider to ask if she'd like to join them in various leisure activities. But the spider never answers any of them, and continues to busy herself spinning her web. As you turn the pages, Eric Carle beautifully illustrates the increasingly detailed web as it nears completion, giving the web a clear-but-silvery color that could almost be real; and, if you run your hand over the page, the strands of the web are slightly raised, so your fingers can feel the added detail of each page. Throughout the book, with each new animal that approaches the spider, there is a fly that finds a place in the scene, an illustration that is also textured. When at last the rooster approaches and asks the spider if she would like to catch a pesky fly, the spider indeed catches the fly with her beautifully completed web, naturally, without a word. When the night falls, the spider is visited for the last time by an owl who insists on asking "Whoo? Whoo?" built the beautiful web? But there is still no answer from the spider, who is fast asleep, exhausted by the day's work.This is a fantastic book for the infant/toddler or Pre-K crowd, as it's a book made to be touched, creating an interactive story for the audience, while introducing several farm animals and the sounds they make. It is a beautifully constructed and illustrated book, sure to become a favorite of small children who will ask for it again and again.
wrigmt02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Very Busy Spider is a lift-the-flap fiction book about a spider that is on a fence at a farm. The story is appropriate for early elementary students and this book should not be placed in the classroom library because the flaps would not hold up to the wear and tear of everyday use. I rate this book five out of five because it is interesting and has good illustrations that would keep younger students entertained.
acwheeler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book and remember loving it when I was young. About a spider that spins her web and nothing can stop her until she is done. It was good book for young readers because it has short wording and very good illustrations.
psjones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great book by Eric Carle. The hardcover addition has a web that is raised so young readers can touch it. Great illustrations. I will read all of Eric Carle's books my future class.
BrennaSheridan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book revolves around a spider making her web on a farm, and not allowing the different farm animals to distract her from her project. At the end, she is so tired from being so busy, she falls asleep. The illustrations are very colorful and fun, and the added element of a raised-feeling spider web on each page adds a great new sense to the book
eenerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Neat illustrations and good reading too.
stephippen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This simple story illustrates a spider's diligence in spinning her web while a series of farm animals invite her to stray from her task to play. An embossed web makes this book especially enticing to touch while reading. Text and pictures work beautifully together to create an enticing and satisfying reading years
lwmasters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A beautifully illustrated book about the life of a spider. It shows the spider spinning a web and also shows lots of different animals and the sounds they make. Would be a great book to explain what and how spiders eat. It also teaches about hard work. The version of the book I read had cool illustrations that you could actually feel and touch.
coolcaro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This wonderfully illustrated book tells the story of the very busy spider who is extremely productive working away at his web. Throughout the story, many different animals come to him and ask him questions, all of which he ignores to keep working on his web. This is a great book for children learning animal noises. It also has very bright colors and includes a sense of touch with the raised web on each page, making this a multi-sensory book.
BBallard09 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Very Busy Spider was a book about a very hard working spider that was busy spinning her web. While she was working, other animals would visit with her and try and get her to play with them or go with them. The spider just kept working until her job was completed. After she was finished with her web, she was much to tired to go with the other animals. All she wanted to do was sleep. After all hard work is exhausting.I really enjoyed reading this story. I love how it relates the animals with the sounds they make. I also like how the pictures were textured to show the progress that the spider had made with her web. I love all of Eric Carle's books, and am working toward getting his whole collection.One of the activities that children could do is use a flannel board with different animal pieces that weren't in the story and have the child tell the story with the pieces, from their point of view. Also for a art project, children could make their own spider web out of yarn and make their very own busy spider.
EmilyNagtegaal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A thin silky thread floats across the fields and lands on the fence post. A spider begins to spin a web on the fence. Throughout the day, she works away at the web, slowly but surely creating a masterpiece. The animals in the farmyard start to get curious about what the spider was crafting. They slowly begin to come by and see the spider. The horse, the cow, the sheep, the goat, the pig, the dog, and the cat all come to visit the spider one-by-one. But she doesn¿t answer their questions about what she is making. Why? Because she is too busy spinning. ¿The Very Busy Spider¿ is a wonderful story for young children. The engaging animal sounds allow children listening to the book to interact with the story, which is great for the young kids. The pictures are vivid drawn and delightful to look at. I love ¿The Very Busy Spider¿ for its simple yet enjoyable story in the awesome board book style.
meotoole on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is great for early readers! It has awesome illustrations that will grab the student's attention.
mayalanda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book that we enjoy over and over again. There is an animal on every page and text that reflects what that animal does. The web is spun as the story develops.
nboria05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a great way for students to see progress and development on a project. A spider stays focused and works hard on something and in the end gets a fly! Hard work pays off! Students can make observations about what's happening in the picture and young children can feel the web being made on the page.
cmiller05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
FictionThe Spider puts off play all day to finish her work.
UptownMom More than 1 year ago
My 18 month old's face lights up when we pull this book out. He loves making the animal sounds. He will even "read" it by himself.
SDietz More than 1 year ago
My toddler loves to look at the pictures and make the animal sounds, and my four-year-old is excited to be able to read the words. They love this one almost as much as the Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Shellie-SLP More than 1 year ago
This book is great for young children. I love the illustrations and the content leads to discussions about farm animals and spiders. I use this book in my Speech Therapy sessions and the children love it. I ask the children "wh-" questions about the animals. The board book is durable for the little ones.
BWWI More than 1 year ago
I was not happy with this purchase, as I didn't realize it was a "miniature". My mistake. Although I do LOVE this story!
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