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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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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 |
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.
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.
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 |
1 book
  TUCC | Dec 19, 2016 |
I liked the images and story line in this book. It is a folk tale popular in Africa that originated from the Ashanti people. It is a great book to read to students to include the culture from places around the world. ( )
  SarahA5752 | Oct 17, 2016 |
Anansi the Spider is one of the great folk heroes of the world. He is a rogue, a mischief maker, and a wise, lovable creature who triumphs over larger foes.

In this traditional Ashanti tale, Anansi sets out on a long, difficult journey. Threatened by Fish and Falcon, he is saved from terrible fates by his sons. But which of his sons should Anansi reward? Calling upon Nyame, the God of All Things, Anansi solves his predicament in a touching and highly resourceful fashion.

In adapting this popular folktale, Gerald McDermott merges the old with the new, combining bold, rich color with traditional African design motifs and authentic Ashanti language rhythms.

Anansi the Spider is a 1973 Caldecott Honor Book.
  Sara1211 | Oct 17, 2016 |
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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