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Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti…

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

by Gerald McDermott

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I love the folktales about Anansi the spider! I remembered reading these stories when I was in elementary school, and have enjoyed sharing them with my own children-- They love him, especially because Anansi is such a clever, good-hearted trickster. ( )
  PattyHoward | Apr 24, 2018 |
This is a cute African folktale inspired by the west African god Anansi. It is about a spider, who is a father, that gets himself tangled in great trouble. His six sons must work together if they want to save him.

The language dialect is a bit different, as it is written from the African dialect. I suggest addressing this cultural difference before reading this story to avoid dissonance. ( )
  csappenfield | Apr 23, 2018 |
Anansi had six son that had different gift that helped their father that got swallowed by a fish. Then got taken by a falcon thrower through a stone. More trouble came then continually getting saved by his other son. Found a glowing ball and asked the god of all things to hold the ball until Ansansi decided to which son he would give it to. But he took it to the sky and there it stayed. It was an awesome book I would have it in my library. ( )
  zmercado | Apr 23, 2018 |
I was very intrigued when I saw that the book was an adaptation from a short film that Mcdermott shot. This being a Caldecott honor book I was interested in that connection? Film does not need words the way that books necessarily do because of actions but we see the characters in Anansi perform in a film like way. McDermott has his niche of literature within the folklore genre that perhaps are a little overly similar but he is doing a deed exposing young people to alternative art and culture that I definitely appreciate. The tale of Anansi was not one that I had heard before and it was so fascinating and odd. There are the raw elements of death, trickery, and spirituality without it becoming over bearing. Also how strange his sons names sound until you've heard the story. Graphically I was so impressed. Each arguably abstract design in the scenery is completely non abstract, characterizing a specific element of nature--mountains, streams, grasses. All of it so bright. The sentence structure is a bit odd. Kind of what I would imagine a Guyanese person learning english would talk which I find... questionable? It is highly rhythmic though so perhaps that was what he was going for. ( )
  signecbaum | Mar 29, 2018 |
Anansi the spider is about a spider who has six sons, all with different powers, that come to help him in his time of need. Anansi has only one reward and cannot decide which of his sons to give it to. I think the intended audience for this book is second grade and up, because it uses bigger vocabulary words and the concept may be hard for younger students to grasp. I would use this book as a way to show students how to be creative in their writing. ( )
  tayburnett | Feb 9, 2018 |
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for my Mother and Father
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(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.
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)

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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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