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The Very Busy Spider: A Lift-the-Flap Book (The World of Eric Carle) Paperback – October 5, 2006
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* "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
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I notice multiple reviews mentioning the "web" isn't pronounced (embossed?). It appears that such a feature is a part of the board-book version (which I selected).
I can only assume the hardcover comes with standard print paper pages, which would not allow for the touchy-feely webbing feature.
Now, off to find that chameleon!
Update: now that I've read the book 2000 times in the first 8 hours of ownership, I notice that the board book version I have showcases the cat twice. Interesting indeed. I wonder what animal is missing.
Either way, this is a fairly cute book, though I don't think it's anywhere near as memorable as Eric Carle's other books like the Caterpillar, Cricket, Ladybug and Firefly books. It's about a [very busy] spider who lands on the scene one day, and just starts to spin its web. Many other animals come over and invite the spider to come with them and have fun, but the spider doesn't reply- it's too busy spinning its web. Finally a rooster asks the spider if it wants to come and chase flies, and by this point, the web's done. The spider doesn't need to reply to the rooster, because after it asks, a fly lands in the web. Story over.
There's no real message or moral here that I can figure out, not that it's necessary in order to enjoy the story or anything, but where The Grouchy Ladybug is about bullying and being put in your place, all The Very Busy Spider is is a spider ignoring offers by other animals because it wants to complete its web. Yeah, there could be the message of how important it is to stay focused and finish the job, but I'm sure there are a lot of parents out there who'd whine about the spider having bad manners or something. The art style is done in the standard Carle fashion, always a treat, and the spider's web is done in a special way on the paper so that it's risen from the page a bit and 'bumpy'.
I give the book on its own 3.5 stars, but this dinky version: a tiny hardcover book with regular paper pages, not being billed as that in the title and throwing off many people, reduces the score a bit. Sure it could be a good choice to take on trips, but most kids will enjoy the illustrations better if the pages are bigger. Unless your child specifies that they want THIS version, go with the old paperback or hardcovers instead.
Top international reviews
My little one loves this book, it's helping him recognise the farm animals and now can do the sounds to a few of them!
The Web is slightly embossed so it's a good touchy feely book too
The only downside is that I got this second hand wish I paid that bit extra and got it brand new
It says touch and feel, but seriously there is nothing much to touch or feel!