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The Adventures of Spider: West African…

The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales (BookFestival) (edition 1992)

by Joyce Cooper Arkhurst (Author)

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479441,635 (3.89)2
Presents six tales about Spider, including those which explain how he got a thin waist and a bald head and why he lives in ceilings and dark corners.
Title:The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales (BookFestival)
Authors:Joyce Cooper Arkhurst (Author)
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (1992), Edition: Reissue, 64 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales by Joyce Cooper Arkhurst


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Come sit by the fire and listen as the storyteller brings to life a favorite character from West African folktale---the mischievious and clever spider. Through tales of how he got a thin waist to why he lives on ceilings, spider is sure to delight readers with his outrageous wit and boldness. Presents six tales about Spider, including those which explain how he got a thin waist and a bald head and why he lives in ceilings and dark corners.
  riselibrary_CSUC | Jun 23, 2020 |
  OakGrove-KFA | Mar 28, 2020 |
I can't recall the first time I heard or read a story about Anansi - the trickster-spider whose many misadventures feature so prominently in West African folklore - but I must have been fairly young, as I seem always to have known about him. I was quite struck, consequently, by an anonymous online review of Joyce Cooper Arkhurst's 1964 The Adventures of Spider, which maintains that this collection, and its author, are responsible for popularizing the spider-hero in the United States. I have no idea whether that is true, but my curiosity was piqued, and when I saw that this was also one of five-time Caldecott Honor-recipient Jerry Pinkney's first efforts, I knew I had to seek it out.

Trained as a librarian, Ms. Arkhurst was apparently a storyteller at the New York Public Library, something which really comes through in her engaging retelling of these six stories. Here the reader will discover How Spider Got a Thin Waist, as a consequence of his greedy desire to eat two dinners, as well as Why Spider Lives in Ceilings, after a run-in with Leopard. Other selections include: How Spider Got a Bald Head, in which Spider's attempt to hide some baked beans in his hat leads to unexpected disaster; How Spider Helped a Fisherman, a tale in which the trickster is tricked (also retold by Verna Aardema in her picture-book, Anansi Finds a Fool); and Why Spiders Live in Dark Corners, which relates the tale of how Spider faked his own death. Finally, in How the World Got Wisdom, the reader will learn of Spider's role in (accidentally) disseminating good sense.

The humor of these tales is readily apparent, as is the teller's fondness for them. Pinkney's illustrations are somewhat crude, in comparison to his later work, but his fans will undoubtedly be interested to see how his style and skill have evolved. All in all, a lovely little collection - I will definitely be reading the follow-up, More Adventures of Spider! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 10, 2013 |
A collection of tales of Anansi the spider. In the story of how Anansi gave Stories to the People, Anansi asks Nyumba how he can receive the stories. Nyumba, the sky god, tells him he must bring him three things, a snake, a leopard and a hornet. Anansi sets about doing this task that so many have failed before him. He sets up tricks for each one and captures them all. He therefore is given the right to the stories. ( )
  gildallie | Jun 8, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joyce Cooper Arkhurstprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pinkney, JerryIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Presents six tales about Spider, including those which explain how he got a thin waist and a bald head and why he lives in ceilings and dark corners.

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Presents six tales about Spider, including: How Spider Got a Thin Waist; Why Spider Lives in Ceilings; How Spider Got a Bald Head; How Spider Helped a Fisherman; Why Spiders Live in Dark Corners; How the World Got Wisdom.
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