Friday, February 1, 2013

The Spider's Web on NPR

Does anyone else remember this show?  I listened to it from the late 1970s through the 1980s.  It came on at 7:00pm and featured a half hour reading from a children's book.  Books included The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (on of my absolute favorites), Charlotte's Web, Julie of the Wolves, and Tuck Everlasting.  Growing up, my family didn't have a TV until I was fourteen, so The Spider's Web was important entertainment for me.  I rarely missed an episode, even if it meant having to stand in a certain spot in the living room so the signal was clear.

Back in the day, I had books on record, and now there are tons of books available as audio files.  These options don't provide the same pleasure of simultaneity as radio or tv.  As a sometimes lonely kid, I loved listening to the radio and knowing other people were out there doing the exact same thing.  I still love radio and tv because they seem warmer and more connected than music played from my own collection or videos watched on Netflix.

I wonder if LB with have that experience?


  1. I LOVED Spider's Web. We didn't have a TV either. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase was one of our favorites too. I've tried to find those audio recordings because they weren't "just" reading. I remember the sound effects and animated voices. I would so love to find them to share with my own children!

  2. Agree! I've been thinking about writing to NPR about the recordings. Obviously it would be a niche product, but it seems like there would be a little market. The thing that is stopping me is the feeling that any communication would go in the "rando letters from randos" pile. Maybe we should start a petition.

  3. I loved it too, tho I was grown up (and no kids yet at that time). There was a TV at my parents' house but no dishwasher; The Spider's Web made dishwashing tolerable when I was visiting there. I've been looking for a book heard on that program. I thought it was called "Daughter of the Moon" but no such title turns up on old book sites: it was about a young girl very realistically portrayed including a nice positive view of a step-mother. Her friends include an old man with whom she goes to a concert. Then part of the book is fantasy with travel from her Calif. home to the Adirondacks thru a water color painting by her aunt I think. A woman who comes thru the painting ends up paired with our heroine's old man friend.... Does this sound familiar? Also The Spider's Web introduced me to Julie of the Wolves, great book.

  4. I do remember that book, just the part where she is in her room and then travels through the painting and feels the needles of the pine trees. I can't remember the title, but I'll think on it and see if anything comes to me.

  5. A magical show ... I still have cassette tapes for both of the Alice in Wonderland books (which may not even work anymore). Wish there were links to it somewhere.

  6. I could have written your post. Wow! It sent shivers down my spine...Island of the Blue Dolphins,...My Side of the Mountain.

    I would love to hear the theme song. Let me know if you access it.

  7. Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry
    Phantom Tollbooth
    so many others!

  8. I lived in an isolated home in Maine. I listened to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy aND A Wrinkle in Time on the Spider's Web in late 70s!The first book I bought from a bookstore in Camden (The Owl and the Turtle ) was the Hitchhiker's Guide...good times!

  9. Hi - I was told to contact the folks at the University of Maryland Library of all places! I too grew up in the remote reaches of Maine, and listened to so many of these shows, also the Star Wars Trilogy! (which you can now get on Amazon)'s the info:

    "If you are interested in the NPR Audio Collection, send inquiries to Laura Schnitker at Please include as much information as you can in the following areas:

    1. Program title (All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, etc)
    2. Names (bylines, interviewers/interviewees, etc)
    3. Dates (exact dates or date ranges)
    4. Subjects (Big Bend National Park, domestic partner benefits, the First Amendment, ecosystems, etc)"

  10. “It’s a web like a spiders web hold it tight til I awaken... as if to tell me the evenin’s alright... mmmmmm”