Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock
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Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  475 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock Anansi the Spider uses a strange moss-covered rock in the forest to trick all the other animals, until Little Bush Deer decides he needs to learn a lesson. Full description
Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 1st 1990 by Holiday House (first published July 28th 1988)
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N_maryellen Rosenblum
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“Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock” is an old African folktale retold by Eric A. Kimmel, along with illustrations by Janet Stevens. This book is about how Anansi the Spider tries to trick all the animals in the forest by showing them a mysterious rock. This book is surely a delight to anyone who is interested in African folktales.

Eric A. Kimmel’s retelling of this ancient folktale is hilarious and charming as Anansi uses a magical rock to get what he wants or at least that what he thinks. I thou...more
Caldecott honor winner, Eric Kimmel, crafts this tale using the Ashanti character Anansi the trickster spider. In this familiar theme where the trick rebounds on the trickster, the heroine is the small, shy deer. After Anansi tricks the whole neighborhood, he tries to lure Little Bush Deer into his trap. Unbeknownst to him, she has been observing him and knows his ploy. Little Bush Deer eventually turns the tables on him and sets everything right with the previously outwitted neighbors.

While the...more
Sally Deem
Every child loves playing tricks! This story is about a spider named Anansi who discovers that whenever the magic phrase "Isn't that a strange moss covered rock" is uttered by someone near a magic rock, they would pass out. Spider decides to play this trick on animals in the forest so he can steal their delicious food while they are passed out beside the magic rock. One day, a very smart bush deer decides out smart Anansi by teaching him a lesson. I would probably use this story to help teach au...more
Beth Chandler
engaging trickster story with a neat twist. I love Little Bush Deer!
Pat Carlson
Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock, by Eric A. Kimmel (Holiday House, 1988) p.32
picture book: Traditional literature

Summary: Anansi the spider is a practical joker in African cultures the way Coyote is in Native American Cultures. Anansi tricks the animals in her community into saying a phrase at a magic rock that renders them unconscious for a while and allows Anansi to steal their food, which she is too lazy to gather for herself. They trick her and get their food back.

a) plot

b) The plot of thi...more
Oooh that Anansi! Such a sneaky spider! Anansi is walking through the forest when he discovers a moss-covered rock. No big deal, right? Oh, but wait! The conniving arthropod discovers that this rock has magical powers, which he can use to his own advantage. But someone is watching from behind the cover of the lush leaves and grasses, and this quiet observer decides Anansi must learn a lesson.

This story is originally a West African tale. Anansi is a familiar and beloved rascal of a character in t...more
Tales of Anansi the spider are common in traditional African Folktales. Often depicted as mischievous and devious, the Anasi in Anansi and the Moss-Covered rock is no different. In this version, retold my Eric Kimmel, Anansi discovers a trick rock, which knocks out anyone who says aloud "Isn't this a strange moss-covered rock." Anansi uses this knowledge to trick other animals in the forest so that he can steal their goods. What the greedy Anasi doesn't notice is Little Bush Dear on the sideline...more
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Janet Stevens, tells the story of lazy Anansi the spider who tricks his friends out of food, then is tricked himself.
After Anansi discovers that saying certain words abaout a rock cause one to pass out, he tricks many animals out of their food, until Little Bush Deer watches Anansi, and turns the tables on him.

Stevens' illustrations are bold and detailed. My favorite images include the cover, title page, panels of Anansi encounte...more
Eva Leger
3.5 - This was another audio we listened to in the car on the way back to the library yesterday. Julia followed along in print as we listened.
I think this is the third Anansi book we've read, along with Anansi and the Magic Stick and Anansi and the Talking Melon. I know there's at least one more, maybe many, out there.
One of us happened upon Anansi and the Talking Melon on day awhile back at the library and after reading that found that we both like the authors style and the subjects, along with...more
Amy M
Anansi is a clever and very tricky spider. In Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock, Anansi comes across a moss-covered rock in the forest and quickly discovers that the rock has magical powers. Each time he says the words, “Isn’t this a strange moss-covered rock,” Anansi is knocked out cold. Being as clever and tricky as he is, Anansi decides to use the rock’s magic for nefarious purposes. One by one, the mischievous spider lures his forest friends – Lion, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Giraffe...more
Genesis Romo
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock written by Eric A. Kimmel is about a spider named Anansi. The book takes place in a forest, and one day in the forest Anansi stumped upon a moss-covered rock. He realized the rock had some kind of a magical power to it. He uses the rock to trick the animals in the forest with it. Some of the characters he tricks using the rock are the lion, the elephant, the rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, the giraffe, the zebra, and finally his trick does not work with one particu...more
Amber Delauri
1. Traditional Literature
2. Anansi the spider finds a magical moss-covered rock that causes individuals to pass out when they say a certain phrase. He uses this knowledge to play a trick on all her friends and steal their food. But in the end, his own trick
3. Critique
a. Lesson
b. This book teaches children the valuable lesson that everyone in this world may not have your best interests at heart. People that we view as friends have the ability to mistreat us if given the opportunity. The author s...more
a. Kimmel, Eric. 1988. ANANSI AND THE MOSS-COVERED ROCK Ill. by Janet Stevens. New York: Holiday House. ISBN092340689X

b. Anansi is an important character in Caribbean and African folklore. According to the back of the book,sometimes Anansi is represented as a man, and other times he takes the form of a spider. In this simple West African folktale, Anansi, known as the trickster spider, discovers a moss-covered rock that has the power to knock you out if you look at it and say, “What a strange mo...more
Ashton Livsey
Genre: Traditional Literature, Folklore
Summary: This folk tale tells the story of a spider who tricks his friend’s because he is too lazy to gather food for himself. His friends find out and try to teach him a lesson.
Critique: a) The main part of this story that children will hopefully take from the book is the lesson.
The tale is entertaining, has great illustrations, and is funny at times. However, what children may really appreciate is the lesson learned. This story shows children that frien...more
Jonathan Ryal
This is a great book that has amazing illustrations throughout it. Anansi, who is a spider, is a very lazy individual. He finds a moss covered rock that makes people unconscious for an hour when they say the secret phrase “Isn’t this a strange moss-covered rock”. Anansi ends up pulling a scam on all the animals in the jungle from the lion, to the elephant, to the rhino and many more. Each time taking the pile of food they had sitting at their home. Eventually, Anansi ends up meeting his match in...more
Genre: Picture book: Traditional

Summary: A traditional West African and Caribbean tale, Anansi the spider thinks he is clever and tricks all of his animal friends into saying, “Isn’t this a strange moss-covered rock?” as they come upon a large rock. The utterance of this phrase causes them to pass out cold. Anansi then steals their food because he is very lazy. What he doesn’t know is that all this time Little Bush Deer has been watching. Little Bush Deer teaches Anansi a lesson using Anansi’s o...more
Genre: Traditional Literature; Chidlren's book

Summary: In African Culture, Anansi is known as a spider who tricks the other animals normally to get something she wants. There is no difference in this book where Anansi tricks the other animals in order to steal away their food, that she was to lazy to collect for herself.

A. With this title being Traditional Literature it is no wonder that it could be used to teach the readers a lesson about stealing and tricking others. However, I also think the...more
Oh, my. I'm not a huge trickster-tale fan, but this was a good one. The original premise (a magic rock that knocks out anyone who comes along and says, "Isn't this a strange moss-covered rock?") takes some getting used to, but both Anansi's tricks on others, and the trick that finally gets him (for now) are really funny. So is the sound effect (KPOM!) with which everyone is knocked out and Janet Stevens' illustrations of huge jungle animals on their backs. Finally, this is a good book for learni...more
S.N. Arly
If you like folktales and you like tricksters, you really should read this, even if you don't have a child to read it to.

Anansi is the Caribbean and West African equivalent to Coyote, a trickster god. He appears in stories as a man or a spider. Sometimes his action cause harm. Sometimes they're helpful. They are always interesting. In this story, Anansi wears his spider form and he discovers a magical moss covered rock.

The illustrations are decent (though it took some convincing for the kids to...more
My two-year-old picked this out at the library because of the big hippo on the front cover. And while it's not actually about a hippo it did not disappoint. We've read it about 8 times in the past two days, and he's still a fan. After a looong stretch of endless brown-bear-brown-bear and Dr. Seuss nonsense it is really refreshing to read a children's book with a plot for a change. It's a classic-style children's story about a trickster spider who gets his come-uppance at the end. Sound effects,...more
Lauren Derosa
I thought that this was a very cute book! I actually enjoyed the repetition of the events from the book because I really think that it allows for children to better grasp what is going on in the book. I like the sense of mystery and imagination when saying "Isn't this a strange moss-covered rock!" causes the person who said it to fall down. Another part of the book which I enjoyed was noticing that the deer was in the background of each picture, hiding in the bushes. I thought that it was a cute...more
Lauren Giobetti
My students absolutely loved this story. They thought that this was a funny book. It's a great start to a persuasive unit or an example of persuasive text. Also a good representation of karma.
Jul 01, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2011, africa, childrens
This has been a summer for reading books about Anansi. We loved listening to Jerry Terheyden narrate Anansi and the Talking Melon and Anansi Goes Fishing while we followed along with the book. Unfortunately, we couldn't borrow an audio version of this book from our local library, but we still enjoyed the story and loved to see the trickster get tricked.
Nichole Sedler
Dec 04, 2007 Nichole Sedler added it Recommends it for: 1st-4th
Shelves: folklore

Written by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Janet Stevens, published by Holiday House, 1990.

Summary: Anansi the spider finds a magical stone that puts him to sleep. Anansi decides to use the rock to trick his friends out of their food. But throughout the story Little Bush Deer observes all Anansi's trickery and in the end outwits Anansi and returns all the food to the rightful owners.

Response: This is a fun, silly story that shows you never know who may be watching so "do unto others as you would...more
This one is far and away my two year old's favorite Anansi story. I appreciate the rhythm and the KPOM!
Briana Deleon
Kimmel creates a witty story about a conniving spider who uses trickery in order to get what he wants. This deceitful nine legged creature lures unsuspecting animals into the forest who inadvertently fall for his trap. The repetition of the sentence "walking walking walking" makes it a great read aloud for children to follow along. Although the set up of the story may lead one to believe that a moral would be learned, the ending falls short of a lesson learned. Despite this, the pleasant and sim...more
So, the crux of this book is in the absurd premise that SOMEWHERE in the forest there is a strange-looking moss covered rock that knocks you unconscious for an hour if, upon seeing it, you go "Isn't this a strange, moss-covered rock?"

Of course, if you can accept the existence of talking spiders and various African animals that live in houses and sit on chairs, you can accept this too. And you should, because the story of how Anansi got outwitted, hoisted on his own petard? Well! That's worth dro...more
Anansi the Spider went walking, walking walking through the forest and discovered a magic rock. The rock had the power to knock someone out if they said the phrase, “Isn’t this a strange moss-covered rock.” He used his knowledge (and the rock) to trick all the animals of the forest, except for Little Bush Deer, who decides to teach Anansi a lesson. Very fun to read. Probably works best with ages 5-8, although my 2 year old loves it too. The author’s notes say that this is originally a West Afric...more
In this Anansi tale, Anansi discovers a magic moss-covered rock. Anytime someone approaches the rock and says "isn't this a strange moss-covered rock," they pass out for an hour. Anansi decides to use this rock to trick some of the other animals out of their food. What Anansi didn't know that Little Bush Deer had been watching him the entire time. Little Bush Deer decided to teach Anansi a lesson. She figures out a way to trick Anansi and help the other animals get their food back. This is a cla...more
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Eric A. Kimmel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1946. He attended PS 193, Andries Hudde Junior High School, and Midwood High School. Brooklyn College was across the street from his high school, so he didn’t want to go there. He headed west, to Easton, Pennsylvania where he graduated from Lafayette College in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature.
Eric worked as an elementary school teache...more
More about Eric A. Kimmel...
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins Anansi and the Talking Melon The Goose Girl: A Story from the Brothers Grimm I Took My Frog to the Library Anansi and the Magic Stick

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