In the bushes/ a silken ball bursts open./ Tiny spiders scramble/ over tiny spiders/ over tiny spiders."" From this beginning Ryder traces the new spiders' course ""on silken streamers,"" ""riding this way and that. . . floating down. . . . Spiders rain here/ and there/ and over there."" The leaders ""picks her place,"" spins her web, catches and eats a firefly, loses a leg to a blackbird, grows, sheds her skin while ""dancing,"" then does another sort of ""dance"" with a second spider, lays her eggs, and ""too tired to ever spin again,"" leaves them to hatch from their ball in spring. Ryder's ""poetic"" and impressionistic approach to the natural-history primer is pleasing enough, though not striking, and also moderately informative, though no more so than several other spider books at this level. The illustrations in harsh blue, green, and yellow lack the delicacy that their subject and Ryder's softer touch seem to call for.