Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti

Gerald McDermott

$ 3.72 (new)
$ 1.21 (used)

Paperback (48 pages)

Henry Holt and Company


Editorial Description

In this traditional tale from West Africa, Anansi, the Spider, sets out on a long journey. Threatened by Fish and Falcon, he is saved from terrible fates by his sons. But which of his six sons should he reward? The color, splendid design montage, and the authentic African language rhythms forge a new direction in picture books for children. Caldecott Honor Book. Lewis Carroll Shelf Award.

Reader Reviews

Anansi the Spider - A Tale from Ashanti
I thought this book was awesome! I am reading this book for my class. My favortie part of the book was when the six children saved there Father. I think everyone should read this book by Gerald McDermott. One of the sons split open the fish and saved his father. That was cool! This book was about a father and his six sons. The Father got lost and got eaten by a fish. One of the six sons suck up all of the water and another son split open the fish. When they saved there father a bird picked him up. Another son name Stone Thrower threw a stone at the bird and the dad fell and landed on another son named Cushion. Anansi went into the woods and found a light and wanted to know who to give it to. He went to the God of all things to ask which son to give it too. After much arguing the God of all things put the light in the sky for all to see.

Anansi The Spider
I read this book as a child and I loved all the art work and the wonderful story. In fact, I loved the story so much, some 30 years later I gave my son (now 4) the middle name of Anansi. My son and daughter (age 3) love the story of Anansi and his six sons. Even when we don't have the book with us, we talk about Anansi, his sons and their adventures. This story is great because children learn that we each have a skill that makes us unique and we each contribute something important to the family.

I do not recommend this book
This is the story of Kwaku Anansi, a spider, who had six sons. And one day, when Anansi disappeared, his sons used their special abilities to see him some safely. But, when the adventure is over and Anansi wants to reward his most worthy son, he must find a special solution.

This book won the 1973 Caldecott Honor, but I must say that I strongly disagree with that. The author, Gerald McDermott of Detroit, Michigan, used a rather stunted English for the story, pretty much eschewing the use of definite articles. For example, on one page he writes, "And last of sons was Cushion." Is the book suggesting that African people by their nature use a pidgin English? I must say that I found the book to be condescending and downright insulting.

As an attempt to bring African folklore to the common reader, I think that the book is wonderful. But, for its actual execution, I think that the book leaves much to be desired. I do not recommend this book.

Anansi The Spider
The story is from the Ashanti people of West Africa. Anansi is folk hero, well known to the people of Ghana, and a trickster. The story is about Anansi's six sons,- See Trouble, Second son, Thirty son, Next son, Another son, and Cushion. During the tale, Anansi gets himself into trouble- what else is new. Yet, each son uses his gifts to help save their father. The story can teach children that they all have unique talents.

A must have for pre-k!
For whatever reason, this is my students' very favorite story! They love the characters, and role play being 'road builder,' 'stone thrower' and the rest quite often! I highly recommend it for preschool teachers- great for discussions about working together.