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THE VERY BUSY SPIDER

Author: Eric Carle

Illustrator: Eric Carle

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Publisher: Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers,

Material: board book

Summary: The wind blows a spider to a fence post, where she begins spinning her web. Throughout the day, various farm animals stop to invite a spider to play with them, but she is too busy to reply. This story is not (wholly) unlike the Little Red Hen: the spider cannot be distracted from her work.

Type of Reading: family reading, playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 1 to 5; read yourself: 4 to 8

Interest Level: 1 to 6

Reading Level: 1.3

Age of Child: Started reading with child 2 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: S/He likes touching the spider's silk, which is raised from the page, and to "talk" like each of the animal that greats the busy spider.

Adult Reader Reaction: Eric Carle is always an enjoyable, family read. We thought that the spider catching the fly in her web might create a pause, but we slide right on through to the next animal. It took a couple reads to see the fly was on every page from the beginning.

Pros: A sturdy board book. The texture used to create the spider's silk is a great complement and encouraged our little one to help the spider "draw" her web.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. A nice addition to the picture book/animal story collection. This one has potential for kids learning to read.

If You Liked This Book, Try: MISS SPIDER'S TEA PARTY   THE VERY QUIET CRICKET   CATERPILLAR SPRING, BUTTERFLY SUMMER

Educational Themes: There's plenty to share with this book: animal identification and sounds, nature's processes and good maners (I.e., being polite, exchanging pleasantries).

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, picture book

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2004

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