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The Very Busy Spider

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  35,703 ratings  ·  740 reviews
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!

Board Book, 26 pages
Published August 16th 1995 by Philomel Books (first published 1984)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  35,703 ratings  ·  740 reviews

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Emily May
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure exactly what it is about this book, but my kids loved it! I picked it for my younger son who is not quite two, but my three-year-old was also very enthusiastic about it. I had to read it four times in a row. It's about animal noises and a spider that keeps on building her web and ignoring the mooing baaing neighing raucous around her. I'm not sure what the message is (don't talk to anyone and you'll be more productive? Lol) but that spider makes herself one fine web!
Archit Ojha
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of my favorites in the series!
Such a busy spider it was! Adorable execution!
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of the better murder stories I've read in some time. Entertainingly illustrated, with a cast of memorable characters that draw you further into the tale. Like in Prince of Thorns, you find yourself rooting for the villain by the end, tracing your finger along their beautiful instrument of death. ...more
"The Very Busy Spider" is about a spider that spends all day spinning her web. A variety of different farm animals approach her and ask if she wanted to go do something with them that they enjoy doing. Each time, the spider didn't answer because she was busy spinning her web. In the end, after she finishes her web, she catches and fly and an owl asks who made this beautiful web. But, again, the spider didn't answer because she fell asleep, as it had been a very long day spinning her web. I think ...more
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Both my children, when small, really enjoyed this story of a spider making it's web. I waiver between 3 or 4 stars for this, it's nice meeting all the animals and they loved the way the web is slightly raised so you can feel it but it is very repetitive to read aloud. They loved it but I grew to really dislike reading this one!
Hannah Notess
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tech
An important message about work-life balance for web developers.

If you develop webs all day and don’t take breaks to socialize you will go to bed not having had any social interaction. Don’t do this!
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Such inspirational book!!!

I liked this busy spider way too much!

I'm going to be focused and dedicated like it!

Donna Backshall
Anything by Eric Carle will certainly be a visually awe-inspiring work, but this book also has texture, which makes it even more engaging for little ones.

The basic message is: Introverts thrive in the business of web development. If you keep your eye on the prize, and don't let yourself get distracted with all things social, you'll succeed. (And be pretty lonely, but we don't quite go there in here)
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite children's books!
Shawn Deal
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Here is a very cute story about a spider building her web and all her friends trying to invite her to do other things. Done in water colors, this is a wonderfully bright book.
Melanie Kilsby
Eric Carle is a classic to me and I love almost all of them!!!
Thankfully, my kids do too :D
Amy Bruestle
All of Eric Carle's books are PERFECT reads for all kids!!!!!!!!
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ian
I just hate spiders, even workaholic ones.
Vy Nguyen
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
rating: 3.5

The embossed "silky" thread of the spider that the kids can trace with their fingers lets them have an active role in the story telling. They like touching the fly and the spider (sometimes the kids even close their eyes while feeling them), and they like to provide the animals sounds. It's fun when we can read a book together. Depending on the child, I may or may not comment on the fate of the fly. (One of the kids liked the fly better than the spider, so we never said much about the
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book to a reception class the other day and then brought it for my boys! Read it to them today and they loved it! Good one for teaching Little’s farm animal sounds :)
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
The very busy spider teaches children about how a spider spins a web.
Eric Carle's stories and art are the best in juvenile lit!
Lauren Salisbury
Should be called the Very Rude, Self Centered Spider
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Home school reception book of the week.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-stuff
The kid loves it and thats all that matters :)
Manal Cheikh
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute story. The textured webs are fun to watch. This is a story about several things. #1. A spider who is so busy building her web that she has no time to talk to anyone. #2. Its a story about hard work paying off, and eventually getting a lovely rest at the end of a long day. #3. It teaches young children animal sounds, as well as animal behaviors. We learn that spiders build webs to catch flies in among other things.
McKenna Mahoney
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle is a book about what a busy spider does in a day spinning her web. Many animals come by taking to the spider but not catching her attention as she is busy spinning her web. Planning to catch her food as she makes her web.

I gave this book 5 stars because I think Eric Carle did a very good job making the spiders web have texture giving kids something to touch and feel in the book grasping their attention and getting them engaged in the story. The book also does
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It is a great book for early readers. You can not only read it, but you can also feel it by touching the web. This simple story conveys lots of important information. It is a perfect introduction to learning about different kinds of animals and an opportunity to copy the sounds they make. The story begins one early morning when the spider starts to spin her web. Various animals such as the pig, the horse, the cat or the cow try to interrupt and invite her to join their typical activities, but sh ...more
Shifa Ahmed
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The very busy spider by Eric Carle

This book is about a spider that spins a web with her silky thread on a fence post near a farmyard.

Different farm animals come along and invite her to go and do different things with them, but the spider does not answer, as she is too busy spinning her web.
‘Neigh! Neigh! Said the horse ‘want to go for a ride?’ But the spider doesn’t answer. She is too busy spinning her web.

This book gives the children the opportunity to learn about different animals, the sounds
Melissa Talley
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidlit
I love, love, love the illustrations of this book. Partly because I love Eric Carles work, but the fact that you can feel the book is very neat. In this story the farm animals come through the barn to talk to the spider but she doesn't answer because she is busy spinning her web. This is a good book for younger children because of the repetitive text of the animals asking questions and the spider not responding.
The web is raised making this a great book for busy hands or the visually impaired.
Alysia Abbott
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It was a warm evening so we opened all the windows for dinner and ate shredded carrots, mashed potatoes, and burgers in the low light. A spirited discussion followed about The Very Busy Spider (Eric Carle), which Finn had motioned for me to read (a new favorite of his). Annabel asserts the book has no real point. I say it's all about the spider's industry. While all the other animals want to goof off (napping cat, mud-rolling pig, rock-jumping goat) the spider is the only community member who wo ...more
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book for identifying animals and imitating their sounds. The spider thread is lightly embossed on each page, allowing a fine texture that can be felt with the fingertips. This makes it very interesting to "feel" the spider web develop on each consecutive page. The tiny size of this book makes it perfect as a bring along anywhere.
Wow, these illustrations are awesome! My sister pointed this book out to me in the library -- I'm embarrassed to say I had never heard of it. It's a really cute story to read to kids to demonstrate the importance of hard work and to introduce various kinds of animals. I like that you can actually touch the pages and you'll feel the spider's web. Very nice touch!
Jon Gustafson
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story can be used to teach the importance of focusing or more explicitly how spiders build webs to trap mosquitoes. The text is quite accessible for younger readers and introduces students to many different animals who try to tempt the spider away from her work. The repetition of "the spider didn't answer, she was very busy spinning her web" helps students build some high frequency words.
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Eric Carle (born June 25, 1929) is a children's book author and illustrator, most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 30 languages. Since The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 71 million copies of his books have sold around ...more

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