A spider, blown by the wind to a fence post near a farm yard, begins to build her web and cannot be distracted from the task at hand--not by the horse, cow, sheep, goat, or dog. But when the rooster asks if she wants to catch a pesky fly, the busy spider is able to catch it in her web immediately!
Mice, a rottweiler, an arachnid and a few other assorted critters make sturdy reappearances in five board book versions of picture books. In Ellen Stoll Walsh's Mouse Paint, ``three white mice on a white piece of paper" enjoy a colorful romp, while in Walsh's Mouse Count a similar gaggle narrowly escapes being served for dinner (Harcourt/Red Wagon, $6 each, 28p, ages 1-3 ; -200266-9 Sept.). Yet another mouse searches the animal kingdom for companionship--and finds an unexpected respondent--in Eric Carle's Do You Want to Be My Friend? (HarperFestival, , 32p, ages 2-6, Sept.). The rewards of industriousness are celebrated in a second Carle title, The Very Busy Spider; its embossed web brings a tactile dimension to his familiar collage artwork (Philomel, , 26p, ages 2-up Aug.). Finally, the canine in question is Alexandra Day's beloved Carl, who takes charge of a crew of toddlers in Carl Goes to Day Care (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, , ages 1-3 Sept.).