The Spider Weaver: A Legend of Kente Cloth

Margaret Musgrove

$ 10.63 (used)

Paperback (32 pages)

Scholastic Inc


Editorial Description

A Legend of Kente Cloth

Reader Reviews

A Wonderful Ghanaian Tale
Two weavers, walking through the jungle on their way home to their Ashanti village, find an amazing web, unlike anything they've ever seen, in a banana tree. Both men want to bring the web home so that they can study its unique and intricate design, but when they try to detach it from the tree, it falls apart and is ruined. When one of the weavers tells his wife about their lost discovery, she suggests that even though they can't find the web again, they may be able to find the weaver. So the two men go back to the banana tree and as they approach, see the beginnings of another marvelous creation. As they watch, they realize that this master web weaver is a spider. The men spend the day watching the spider do her weaving dance, twisting, turning and dipping as she moves back and forth across her web. By the end of the day, the weavers have learned her special technique and hurry home to begin weaving this new design which they name kente-nwen-ntoma, or Kente cloth..... Margaret Musgrove's well researched retelling of this wonderful Ghanaian legend will charm and delight children of all ages. Her simple, gentle text is beautifully complemented by Julia Cairns' bold, vibrant watercolor artwork and together this dynamic duo brings this very visual folktale to life. Perfect for youngsters 5 and up, The Spider Weaver includes an afterword about the story and the history of Kente cloth and is a terrific introduction to African folklore that shouldn't be missed.

Fascinating story teaches African traditions
I love to use "living books" like this instead of textbooks to teach about other countries and cultures. Your children will learn about Kente cloth, and ponder the relationship between the patterns in nature and those we create ourselves. When the spider weaver dances as she spins, webs become things of wonder to the reader--no longer objects to be brushed away, but works of art.

The illustrations are lush and draw you right into the story. The glossary and pronunciation guide at the end are also helpful, especially if you plan to read this aloud. (I found the names surprisingly difficult to pronounce!)

We read The Spider Weaver as part of a unit based on the story of "Joseph's Coat" in the Golden Children's Bible. My children then drew their own Kente cloth patterns.

This is a good, solid, enjoyable tale for all ages. It did not quite reach the level of greatness for me, but my 6-year-old son thought it did.