Picture Books about Spiders

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

diary of a spider.jpg

 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

spiders gibbons.jpg

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

from egg to spider.JPG

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

i'm trying to love spiders.jpg

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

a house spider's life.jpg

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.




9 thoughts on “Picture Books about Spiders

  1. lailaarch

    I am thankful that so far my son has not taken an interest in spiders. 🙂 I appreciate the title of I’m Trying to Love Spiders – that’s how I feel! I consciously know that they’re beneficial, but they’re sort of my irrational phobia. I do love those Gail Gibbons nonfiction books. I enjoy reading your picture book studies – they give me good ideas for library story times and also for personal use with my son.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beth @ Pages and Margins

      I’m right there with you on the “I’m Trying to Love Spiders” train! I can appreciate them when I’m outside, but if they get inside my house I’m done with them. And thanks — I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying the picture book posts and getting some ideas to use!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Baie

    I really enjoyed I’m Trying To Love Spiders, and these others look like good ones if you’re studying spiders. I like the look of that final one: A House Spider’s Life. Webs are everywhere these spring days!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. annettepimentel

    I just read Cloth Lullaby, which is a completely different approach to spiders. It’s about why/how the artist Louise Bourgeois became fascinated with using spiders in her artwork. I bet your son would love it!

    Liked by 1 person

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