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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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1,349765,754 (3.96)6
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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Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
37 months - both my husband and I tripped over the words in spots but we all enjoyed the folk tale. ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
Great simple story to explain what a legend is.
  amkestek | Aug 13, 2015 |
This is a great story with a simple and bold artistic style. The book won a Caldecott Honor. This tells the story of a family of spiders, who each have a special ability. They use their abilities to save their father, who is swallowed by a fish. It also explains how the moon found its place in the sky.
  kather8 | Jun 7, 2015 |
Summary: A traditional story from Africa about Anansi, a spider. Anansi goes on a long where he gets lost and finds himself in big trouble. His six sons, each with unique talents, is able to work together to save their father. He can't decide which son to give a beautiful light to because they were all brave. He prays and asks which son he should give it to. It is decided that it will stay in the sky so all of Anansi's sons can enjoy it forever.

Personal Reaction-I like how all of the sons use their talents to help save their father. Though they ultimately want to be rewarded for being the hero of the day, they are happy to enjoy it as a family. The illustrations are fantastic!

Classroom Extension-1. I think it would be fun to make our own colorful spiders and hang them on the wall. Also could open discussion to talk about helping people we see in trouble.
  KaitlynBlevins | May 6, 2015 |
The book begins with introducing Anansi and his six sons. They are all named after their abilities. The first son, named See Trouble, saw that his father was in trouble so he petitioned his other brothers help and they all went off to save their father. After, facing many obstacles which required each son to use their abilities to help save their father. Anansi was so grateful that he wanted to gift the son who rescued him a great globe of light. However, he could not decide which son deserved it more. Nyame, the god of all things, recognized Anansi's dilemma and placed the globe of light in the sky, so that all could enjoy it, where it remains today as the moon.

My favorite part of the book was the pictures because the author utilized various colors, shapes, and patterns. The story also makes the spiders look more appealing so that children with fears of spiders won't have to be afraid.

1.) I would use this book to introduce what folktales are and have them chart other stories that are similar and dissimilar.
2.) I would also use this book and have the children find other book like it to introduce literature from other countries.
  JasRochelle | Feb 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
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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.
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.

(summary from another edition)

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