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Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti…
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Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti (1986)

by Gerald McDermott

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Grades: K-5
Theme: African culture
  creykellums | Apr 9, 2016 |
Summary: This is a story of an Ashanti tale about a spider named Anansi. Anansi goes on a quest, but he finds himself stuck in the belly of a fish. Luckily, he has six sons, who are determined to help save their father from his fate. After being safely brought home, Anansi does not know who to reward because they have all worked to save his life. Eventually, with some help, Anansi was able to reward everyone for their effort.

Personal Reaction: I really loved the bold colors the artist used. The artwork seemed to reflect the culture the story was taken from.

Extensions:
1) I would have the children make spiders out of toilet paper rolls and construction paper, and hang them from the ceiling of the classroom.
2) I would have the children present a tale that they have learned from their parents and culture to the class.
  Jenna.McMillen | Mar 24, 2016 |
I loved re-reading this with my daughter, as this was a favorite of mine when I was a child! I love the drawings and the colors! Beautiful to read! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
This is a great book to use during a folktale unit. This tale comes from Ghana and is great for early childhood as well as early elem students. Anansi uses trickery and cleverness to evade his oppressors. The illustrations are really cool too and include a lot of geometric shapes.
  carldgibson | Dec 16, 2015 |
37 months - both my husband and I tripped over the words in spots but we all enjoyed the folk tale. ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
for my Mother and Father
First words
(from the prologue) Anansi is a folk hero to the Ashanti. This funny fellow is a rogue, a wise and loveable trickster. He is a shrewd and cunning figure who triumphs over larger foes.
Quotations
Anansi asked this of Nyame- "Please hold the beautiful globe of light until I know which son should have it for his own."
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805003118, Paperback)

Anansi the Spider is a wise, funny, mischievous, and loveable folk hero who pops up in traditional Ashanti tales from Ghana, in West Africa. This story, retold and illustrated by Gerald McDermott, relates the tale of father Anansi and his six spider sons. When Anansi sets out on a dangerous journey and gets into all sorts of trouble, each son does one thing to help, and all their efforts together save their father. He finds a mysterious, beautiful globe of light in the forest, and decides to make it a gift of thanks. But which son should receive the prize? Even with the help of Nyame, the God of All Things, he can't decide, so Nyame takes the great globe up into the sky, and that's where it has stayed ever since--the moon, for all to see. This profound story reaches children of many ages; younger ones see it as an exciting rescue story, but older children are intrigued by the larger themes of cooperation and "the whole being more than its parts."

Anansi the Spider, McDermott's first book, received immediate acclaim and was named a Caldecott Honor Book. McDermott has retold and illustrated many other folktales and myths during his long career, including Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale, which received the Caldecott Medal, Musicians of the Sun, and a series of trickster folktales from around the world. He has a rare combination of skills, being both a gifted writer and a talented artist. His distinctive graphic style using bold shapes and brilliant colors is always striking, but is especially well suited to the story of Anansi, with traditional African motifs skillfully integrated throughout the art. This is a story that can be read over and over again! (Ages 4 to 9) --Marcie Bovetz

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In trying to determine which of his six sons to reward for saving his life, Anansi the Spider is responsible for placing the moon in the sky.

» see all 2 descriptions

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