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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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Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Review:
I enjoyed this book for two reasons. First of which is the story. I had seen this book before it was presented to me in this class, but I had never read it. I enjoyed that it had a mini lesson within the story that showed how even though every one of the children were different from each other, they were still able to work together to save Anansi. The second reason is the illustrations. The book is vibrantly colored, using multiple contrasting colors to being about a sense of excitement as the story is being told. The overall theme of the book is that even though we all may be different we all have a place in life. ( )
  mmoria4 | Mar 9, 2017 |
I liked this book. I really did enjoy the cultural presence of the Ashanti people throughout the boo. The names of Anansi's sons are very traditionally rooted in the African culture. I liked that the characters were believable as well. For example, all of Anansi's sons were competing on who is going to save their dad, an effort in which they all share equally but in different ways, Competition among siblings is a very real societal conflict and it was emulated well in this book. Another reason I liked it was because of the plot.It was an interesting take on why we have the moon in the sky. For example, Anansi gave the his sons the moon, but placed it in the sky so they cold all share and look at it. This way, it solves the conflict of who really saved him and rewarded all of his sons. The main message in this story is to always help those in need, especially family , and that family should always stick together. ( )
  abeach5 | Mar 8, 2017 |
I liked this book for several reasons. First, I liked the writing because it was very engaging. Anansi keeps getting in trouble and the sons have to rescue. The sons first detect that the father is in trouble, then have to find him, and then the sons have to find a way to save him. It was engaging because it was interesting to see how the sons would save him. For example when he is eaten by a fish, River-drinker took a big sip of the river so it was empty. Then Game Skinner came to help split open the fish to let Anansi out. I also liked the illustrations because it is a traditional African story by the Ashanti tribe and so the illustrations seem very tribal like with bright colors, different symbols, and displayed what the Ashanti people believe is the God of all things. For example on one page, the spider web is drawn out in different lines, but mostly aztec print. The big idea of this book is to demonstrate their understanding how the moon was put in the sky. And that is, since everyone is so deserving to see something so beautiful, it was put in the sky for all to see.
  Jclark36 | Mar 4, 2017 |
I loved the art in this book, the illustrator used different types of shapes to create animals and scenary. For example, the spiders are all made of simple shapes such as, circle, squares, and triangles. I also loved the meaning of this book. In the story, there were six sons and they all had a different strength. Since the sons all had a different strength, the only way they were able to save their father is if they all worked together. I liked the message the story gave because I can show my future students how they need to work together if they want to help their community. I liked how the writing was scattered amongst the page. I also liked how there was barely any white on any of the pages until the last page. I also liked how the ending was very unexpected. At the end of the story we realized that this was the story behind how the moon ended up in the sky. I also liked how this book gave me insights into other cultures myths and folktales. Overall this book has eye-catching illustrations, a twist at the end, and a powerful message. ( )
  aedwar14 | Feb 20, 2017 |
Review:
This tale follows the beloved Anansi the Spider, who has six sons with special talents. When Anansi stumbles into danger, his six sons work together to save his life. Afterwards, Anansi finds a sphere of light to give to the son most responsible for resuming him, however, they all contributed equally, so a decision could not be made.
Critique:
This tale is an excellent myth because it provides a fantastical tale to explain how the moon got into the sky. Additionally, though it is known to have come from the Ashant people in Ghana, the story was passed down orally for many generations, so the original author is unknown.
Use
1. One way to use this book in a classroom would be during a unit on myths and legends. After reading this book aloud, a good follow up activity would be to have kids get together in small groups and come up with their own legends to explain something in nature.
2. Another way to use this book would be to read it out loud at the beginning of a discussion about talents and being unique. After reading, one could facilitate a conversation about how even though Anansi's sons all have different talents, they are able to use them equally to rescue Anansi.
Age Appropriateness: Primary, Intermediate, Middle School
Media: preseparated art ( )
  rstewart15 | Feb 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this book for two reasons. First of which is the story. I had seen this book before it was presented to me in this class, but I had never read it. I enjoyed that it had a mini lesson within the story that showed how even though every one of the children were different from each other, they were still able to work together to save Anansi. The second reason is the illustrations. The book is vibrantly colored, using multiple contrasting colors to being about a sense of excitement as the story is being told. The overall theme of the book is that even though we all may be different we all have a place in life.
 
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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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Disambiguation notice
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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)

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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.

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