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Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti…

Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti (original 1986; edition 1987)

by Gerald McDermott, Gerald McDermott (Illustrator)

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Title:Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti
Authors:Gerald McDermott
Other authors:Gerald McDermott (Illustrator)
Info:Henry Holt and Company (1987), Edition: 1, Paperback, 48 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Folklore, Multicultural, Caldecott

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Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott (1986)



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From the Ashanti people in Ghana, Africa, this story has an interesting graphic style with bright colors and patterns appropriate for the culture. The story is pretty simple and combines a lesson in collective assistance where each individual's talent is called upon to accomplish a good deed, and also an explanation for the presence of the moon in the sky.
  Ms.Kunz | Jul 27, 2014 |
I like the moral of the story that you can be anything you set your mind too. Since the book is set in African culture I felt the pictures would reflect this better however they were a little bland for me.
  nicholew | May 31, 2014 |
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked the book because of the way it was written. The story was engaging and it flowed. The story was engaging because once things started happening to Anansi and he was rescued you wonder what was going to happen to him next. So the story kept my attention because I wanted to know what trouble his sons would save him from. What I didn't like about the story is I illustrations. Though the book focused on the African culture, and the colors used reflected that, the pictures seemed a little dark to me. The big idea of this story is that no matter how insignificant a person may seem, everyone is good and useful for something. ( )
  vbarbe1 | Mar 31, 2014 |
This book tells one of the many Ashanti folktales (from Ghana) about Anansi the Spider, a prominent figure in Ashanti folklore. This particular story explains how the moon came to be; Anansi's sons help him get out of trouble as well. The main theme of the story is the importance of family and helping them when they are in trouble. This book can be used when talking about families, perhaps in conjunction with other books about different sorts of families. This book could also be used in connection with other creation stories from around the world, or for a lesson on what mythology and folklore is and how it is important to different cultures all around the world. The setting is very important because it is the jungle of Ghana, which is an interesting place for children to learn about. Learning about the setting and area where these folktales are told is important to understanding the impact they have on the culture. ( )
  Lara.Lofdahl | Mar 31, 2014 |
Anansi the Spider: A tale from the Ashanti. By Gerald McDermott. Published by Henry Holt and Company. Copyright 1972. pg. 34

Type of Book: Folktale from the Ashanti

Summary: This is a story about a spider that has six sons. The names of the sons are See trouble, Road builder, River drinker, Game Skinner, Stone thrower and Cushion. When their father gets into trouble See trouble can see it and they set out to go help their father. So Road builder starts to build a road but their father is in the stomach of a fish so River drinker took a drink. Then Game skinner split the fish. Then a falcon took their father. Stone thrower hit the falcon and their father dropped Cushion helped by breaking his fall. They were happy. That night they saw a glowing light in the sky and the father wanted to give the light to the son that saved him. He called on Nyame (the god of all things) to hold on to the light for him. He did not know which son to give it too. Nyame took the light and put it in the sky for all to see. He keeps it there. It is there tonight.

Response: It is a very simple and easy read. The story tells of all sons helping their father and they all get to see the moon at night. This is an easy read for kids and it tells of the spiders helping their father. It shows that you can do good things.
  singleton2012 | Mar 28, 2014 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:21 -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.

(summary from another edition)

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