A spider with no talent for making traditional spider webs teaches young children about shapes as well as perseverance.
Walter’s “wibbly-wobbly” webs are always blowing away in the wind; he can’t seem to manage the perfect spider webs his friends weave. One day, he decides he will manage to make a web that doesn’t blow away. In turn, he spins webs in the shape of a triangle, a square, a rectangle, a diamond, and a circle. All blow away. Discouraged, Walter’s almost ready to give up. But then he thinks back on all the shapes he’s spun and realizes what the perfect web would look like. While his ultimate web is more fantasy than a reflection of real spiders’ work, it does provide good practice for young children in pointing out the various shapes that make it up. A final spread asks readers to identify the five shapes and count their sides. Hopgood’s spider is a delightful black scribbled ball with eight legs, tall oval eyes, and a simple upturned-line mouth. Frustratingly, though, readers will not be able to point to any reason as to why the shaped webs keep blowing away and why the marvelous final web will be any different.
Not the strongest choice in terms of either shape learning or reflecting nature; still, this may get readers outside in search of webs. (Picture book. 2-4)