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The Very Busy Spider Hardcover – March 6, 1985

230 customer reviews

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Hardcover, March 6, 1985
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Every young child should be introduced to this story, as great a classic as its predecessor, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This colorful picture book describes a spider's day. Blown onto a farmyard fence, she starts to spin a web. The other animals ask if she wants to play, but in every case "the spider didn't answer. She was very busy spinning her web." The book is touchable: elements including the strands of web are embossed on the pages and you can follow them with your fingertips. But the best thing by far is Carle's familiar, yet still breathtaking skill as an illustrator. Especially in this large 11.5-by-8.5-inch format, his cow, goat, and dog (just to mention three favorites) capture the essence of each animal in a way few artists can hope to approach. (Baby to preschool) --Richard Farr

From Publishers Weekly

Mice, a rottweiler, an arachnid and a few other assorted critters make sturdy reappearances in five board book versions of picture books. In Ellen Stoll Walsh's Mouse Paint, "three white mice on a white piece of paper" enjoy a colorful romp, while in Walsh's Mouse Count a similar gaggle narrowly escapes being served for dinner (Harcourt/Red Wagon, $6 each, 28p, ages 1-3 ISBN 0-15-200265-0; -200266-9 Sept.). Yet another mouse searches the animal kingdom for companionship?and finds an unexpected respondent?in Eric Carle's Do You Want to Be My Friend? (HarperFestival, $6.95, 32p, ages 2-6, ISBN 0-694-00709-9 Sept.). The rewards of industriousness are celebrated in a second Carle title, The Very Busy Spider; its embossed web brings a tactile dimension to his familiar collage artwork (Philomel, $9.95, 26p, ages 2-up ISBN 0-399-22919-1 Aug.). Finally, the canine in question is Alexandra Day's beloved Carl, who takes charge of a crew of toddlers in Carl Goes to Day Care (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $5.95, ages 1-3 ISBN 0-374-31145-5 Sept.).
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Board book edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books (March 6, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399211667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399211669
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 0.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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 62 languages and sold over 38 million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than 70 books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote.

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."

Eric Carle has two grown-up children, a son and a daughter. With his wife Barbara, he divides his time between the Florida Keys and the hills of North Carolina.

For more information about Eric Carle and his books please visit:

The Official Eric Carle web site: http://www.eric-carle.com
Eric Carle's Blog: http://www.ericcarleblog.blogspot.com
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art: http://www.carlemuseum.org
The World of Eric Carle: http://www.amazon.com/The-World-of-Eric-Carle

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Ann M. Huebner on March 27, 2000
Format: Board book
My two-year-old and I love this book. It's about a spider who blows in, lands on a fence post, and spends the entire day building a web. She keeps working as various animals tempt her to do other things. At the end of the day, she catches a fly in her web and then falls asleep, tuckered out from her busy day. This book has several things going for it. First, it is a very simple narrative, making it one of the first stories that your child will be able to understand. Second, it is repetitive. Toddlers LOVE repetition and it is good for them. It helps them stay focused on the story, and gives them a chance to "read" something themselves, because they will naturally recite the repetitive bits as you come to them. Last of all, this book has several animals and the noises they make--very important for that fund of knowledge you are building. Oh, and I forgot the kicker: The spider web is made of some sort of 3D glue, making it tactile. My son loves running his fingers along it. I would have given this book 5 stars, but I love Carle's THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR even more!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "charlie4" on July 10, 2000
Format: Board book
I love this story of the determined spider who is blown on a fence and begins to weave her web, too busy to play with the other animals. She catches her fly at the end. The typical farm animals are represented and young children will be able to identify the animals by the pictures and can make the noises of the animals portrayed. The web can be felt with the fingertips, although my son was never and is still not impressed with this feat, although his mother is. Eric Carle is a masterful illustrator and story teller. If you have never read his books to young children and seen the fascination of a 2 year old sitting and waiting for the page to be turned, you are missing out. He does not have one bad book. His illustrations are stunning. We have a LOT of books at our house and this one is chosen at least once a week for a bedtime story. Highly highly recommended.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
what an amazing book. as usual, eric carle's illustrations are outstanding, and the text is simplistic and includes animals that all children can identify with. the story features a spider who gets blown onto a fence post located on a farm. there she begins to spin her web (which is embossed on the page and allows the child to feel the story)and is tempted by many of the farm animals to stop. she however, continues to busily craft her magnificent web in the end catching her fly and falling fast asleep. the book is so perfect for toddlers that my two year old can now read the book to me! this is a must have for any child's library.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2002
Format: Board book
For a very long time this book was my daughter's favorite. She loves having it read to her (especially when you do all the animal voices) and she thoroughly enjoys running her fingers across the raised spider's web on every page. We have shared this book together dozens and dozens of times. It is especially endearing to the 2-3 year old crowd.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alison Andreasen on August 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There was nothing in the header description of this item to indicate it was a "Miniature Version". This should be stated clearly. The book is ridiculously small.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By apoem TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 21, 2002
Format: Board book
While a spider weaves her web, animals of the farm come and ask her to play. The spider is too busy spinning her web. Adorable.
Several things make this book a true winner. First the repitition. The repitition is an excellent way for pre-readers and early reader to learn to read. (A whole language approach, but it gives kids some success.) Second, the tactile approach- as the spider spins her web you can feel the strings of the web and the fly that is buzzing around. This is a fun book to read and my son loves to touch the pages. The illustrations are adorable.
When I taught Kindergarten I always had a unit worked up around this book. There are so many creative and fun things you can do for activities and learning with this book. Now that I'm at home with my kiddos, we still do many of these fun things after we read this book. We made spiderwebs out of glue on black paper.
Enjoy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen J. Helwig on January 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My daugther received this book when she was 1 and loved it from the start..We never got through the story itself...we just went through and did all the animal noises. Now my daughter is 4 and now she reads the book to me. My son is now 16 months and it's the first book he's been interested in. Again, we don't get through the story, just the animal noises, but, similar to his sister, I'm sure we'll graduate to actually reading the story. If you get this book, you won't be dissapointed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nicole on March 16, 2003
Format: Board book
We started reading this book to our 5 month old son and he loved it from the beginning! Every page has a different animal with the specific noises each animal makes. My son laughed at each page and especially loves the last page with the owl hooing. We read it almost every day!
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