Walter's Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood

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Walter's Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Walter needs to build a web that will withstand the wind, but what is the best shape to do this? Join him as he tries them all and discovers that something unique and beautiful is often the best option.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 28 Date: September 2015
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781447277101

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A staple of any early sharing library is a book about shapes. Love them or hate them, you are going to be reading a lot of books that talk about circles, triangles and squares. Making shapes appealing to a young toddler or baby is one thing, but what about the poor adult? Are there not any books out there that have a bit of a story as well as talk about shapes? Usually I would not condone spiders, but in the case of a spider called Walter, I may just be able to stomach them as he combines shapes with a fun story.

All spiders like to make webs and Walter is no exception, it is just that whenever a small gust rises, his webs blow away. What is the best shape that Walter can make his web into so that it remains secure no matter the weather? Join him on a webby adventure that combines basic engineering with learning your shapes – how is that for learning 101!

In many ways Walter's Wonderful Web is a very classical-feeling children's book. It has a vintage style to the illustrations and the story is all based around the classic subject of shapes. You must remember that things become classic for a reason and Hopgood evokes the best of these times by giving a timeless appeal to his book and does not fall into the trap of being overly wordy and boring. This is a book that explores shapes in a context that is interesting, informative and fun. It also comes on extremely sturdy cardboard that means it was made to last.

Using the web as a basis for shapes makes sense; every couple of pages, or so, Walter tries out a different shape. An older baby or young toddler will be able to see the shape and learn from the book, but Hopgood goes one step further to entertain the slightly older reader. Whenever Walter's web flies away it teaches the basics as to what makes a strong structure; this combined with the story of Walter's struggle means that this is not just a shape book for the very small, but also for up to around 4 years.

The one element that will divide readers is Hopgood's art style. It has a 70s scratchy appeal that will evoke fond memories for some of the parents but may seem a little too scruffy for others. Personally, I found it quite charming, but the cheap colouring pencil nature of the webs meant that they did not quite have the impact they could have. No matter if the art appeals or not, the story and lessons learnt should. This is an interesting book about shapes that has a flow to it, but also touches on some more advanced questions about structural strength and for that reason is certainly worth a look.

Another book that goes a step further by making shapes fun is Circle, Square, Moose by Kelly L Bingham and Paul O Zelinsky, or you can try a slightly more conventional read; Flip-A-Shape: Go! by SAMI. We think you'll love Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard, Richard Smith and Tim Hopgood.

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Buy Walter's Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Walter's Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Walter's Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Walter's Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood at


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