Traditional Thursdays: The Very Busy Spider


This week on Traditional Thursday we are reviewing the ever enduring The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. This classic tale follows a spider as she diligently spins a web, despite the frequent interruptions by her farm animal friends.

We found the text to be especially suited for toddlers or children entering preschool. It is repetitive in its structure with each page showing a new and colorful character. Each of the spider’s friends asks her to engage in some sort of activity, whether it be playing, sleeping, eating, or jumping. The text does an excellent job of teaching the general activities of the animals, rather than simply teaching animal sounds. Children can learn that pigs “roll in the mud” and goats “jump on the rocks.” Each of the activities would also be fun for children to act out, pretending to graze the grass and swim in the pond with the animals.

The book is also full of vibrant and colorful pictures, with animals that pop from the page with visual texture, and a spider’s web that can be felt on the page. Kids will love feeling the web grow with their small fingertips while watching it grow with each turn of the page.

Finally by the end of the book, the spider complies with her friend, the rooster, who asks if she “want[s] to catch a pesky fly.” She does so before going off to bed after her “very, very busy day”.

Since it was published in 1984, this book has been enjoyed by many children across the United States. We can see why it appeals to children, with its interesting pictures and textures, as well as a plot line that is simple and yet holds your attention. We recommend you grab a copy today.

-Hannah Younker and Sarah Polett



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