Arachnids are not among my favorite animals, but my son is fascinated by them. And I do find spider webs to be rather intriguing. I just completed a unit study on spiders with my son, and here are a few of the books that we found to be particularly interesting.
Spiders – by Nic Bishop
A fascinating overview of various types of spiders, filled with breathtaking photography. The text is engaging and accessible (though it might be a bit long for some kids). I was particularly intrigued by a photograph of a spider molting, the shot taken when it was halfway out of its old skin.
Diary of a Spider – by Doreen Cronin
An amusing story told from the perspective of a young spider. Includes some scientific elements (about spiders’ diets, for instance, or the way they travel through the air on strands of silk), but plenty of anthropomorphic elements as well (spiders attending school, taking vacations, etc.) My son belly laughed all the way through this one.
Spiders – by Gail Gibbons
A great overview of spiders — their life-cycle, the types of webs that different species create, how spinnerets work, etc. The illustrations are charming, and the book features a succinct text that isn’t overwhelming for a young audience.
From Egg to Spider – by Anita Ganeri
This book takes a single species of spider (the garden spider) and follows its life-cycle from egg sac to death. Detailed photographs accompany each page.
I’m Trying to Love Spiders – by Bethany Barton
This book provides a humorous and engaging approach to spiders. The narrator tries to convince himself of the importance and value of spiders to the natural world, but he keeps freaking out and squishing spiders along the way. The text is full of interesting tidbits about spiders, and the illustrations are quite fun.
A House Spider’s Life – by John Himmelman
This lovely book follows the life-cycle of a single spider, examining its diet and web building in a gentle and accessible way. The illustrations are both lovely and detailed.