Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

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)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,286726,090 (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

Work details

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



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
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 |
I had mixed feelings for this book. I liked this book because of the plot and illustrations. However, I did not enjoy some of the word choices or organization of the story. The plot is about six spider sons that help their father, Anansi. This story is important for young readers because it shows that working together to help someone you care about is important. Each spider son also had a specific role for helping the father spider. For example, one spider’s name was “Rock Thrower”. This spider’s job is to throw rocks at the bird that tries to eat his father. In order to successfully save the father spider, the son spiders work as a team. I liked that the author shows the readers that every person is important in a team based atmosphere. The illustrations have colors that contrast and help emphasize the spider characters. I did not like the organization of the words. For example, “They were very happy that spider family.” The word organization is confusing, however this could be the author’s style of writing. Overall, I liked the big idea of the story. The big idea of the story is to work together especially with your family and to show appreciation through love instead of material items. ( )
  ktran4 | Feb 7, 2015 |
Although it's a bit long winded for my toddler, we enjoyed the rhythmic text and beautiful illustrations. ( )
  walksaloneatnight | Nov 18, 2014 |
This book was always one of my favorites growing up and the story of how the moon got up into the sky. The mischievous and cunning Anansi is a great character to read about! This book could be put to great use in any classroom. It offers up a great deal of information in the way of African Culture as well as an excellent example of a traditional folktale. The artwork is also really great with sharp corners and bright colors.
  qrennaker | Aug 14, 2014 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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."
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

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)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
9 avail.
15 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (3.96)
1 1
1.5 1
2 3
2.5 2
3 21
3.5 3
4 40
4.5 5
5 30

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,232,717 books! | Top bar: Always visible