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Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock (Anansi)

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  869 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
Anansi the Spider tricks all the animals, until he's taught a lesson.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by Holiday House
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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.

The story starts off with Anansi the Spider walking through the forest when he spotted a strange looking moss-covered rock and then he exclaims:

“Isn’t this a strange m
Eva Leger
Jul 19, 2011 Eva Leger rated it liked it
Shelves: julias-books
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
N_maryellen Rosenblum
Oct 13, 2010 N_maryellen Rosenblum rated it really liked it
Shelves: traditional-lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, africa, 2011
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.
Nov 19, 2015 Annikka rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditional
Summarize the book:

This book is an African folk tale about a trickster spider named Anansi. While walking through the jungle Anansi comes across a moss covered rock, and discovers that when a certain phrase is mentioned the speaker faints. Anansi takes this opportunity to trick his friends into coming across the rock, say the special phrase, and passing out in order to take their food for himself. This keeps happening until he comes across Little Bush Deer, and the trickster becomes the tricked.
Elizabeth Walker
Oct 02, 2014 Elizabeth Walker rated it liked it
Shelves: eng-261
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock is a picture book that is retold by Eric A. Kimmel. The story is about Anansi the spider and how he finds a moss-covered rock that can make other animals pass out if they say the magic words. When Anansi learns this, he uses this to his advantage so he can steal what he wants from his animal friends. He plays this trick on almost every animal, until something takes him by surprise and teaches him his lesson. A main theme of this book is what goes around comes aro ...more
Lisa Fanelli
Nov 23, 2015 Lisa Fanelli rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
Oh, Anansi! If you are looking for wonderful stories that teach everyday lessons, look no further than the Anansi series.

"Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock" is about a spider who found a magic rock. When he said the words "isn't this a strange moss-covered rock", he would fall to the ground and not wake up for an hour. Anansi realized that it was a magic rock. He used that knowledge to take Lion's yams, Elephant's bananas, and to trick other animals like rhinoceros, hippopotamus, giraffe, and ze
Jan 27, 2014 Jean rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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
Claire Morrison
Nov 19, 2015 Claire Morrison rated it really liked it
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock is a humorous, cute story of an ant who plays tricks on his different animal friends by taking them to a "magical" rock that makes them fall asleep. Once Anansi the ant has successfully taken the animal to the rock and they fall asleep, he sneaks back to their house to take certain objects that he wants, such as bananas and yams. However, Little Bush Deer sees what Anansi is doing and decides to teach him a lesson. You'll have to read the rest to find out what ha ...more
Sally Deem
Feb 07, 2014 Sally Deem rated it really liked it
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
Inspired Kathy
Sep 02, 2008 Inspired Kathy rated it really liked it
I enjoy these stories of Anansi and the trouble he causes for his self purposes. I like it when he gets his own.
engaging trickster story with a neat twist. I love Little Bush Deer!
Feb 03, 2016 Hannah rated it it was amazing
I thought this book taught a great moral lesson, and it would be a great addition to any early childhood educators book collection. In the book there is a magic rock that made animals pass out if they said "Isn't this a strange moss-covered rock!" The main character Anansi figured this out and decided to trick other animals in order to take their food. Anansi did not know that a deer had been watching him the entire time, and at the end of the of the story the deer trick Anansi and gets all of t ...more
Pat Carlson
Nov 03, 2012 Pat Carlson rated it really liked it
Shelves: odu
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
Rosemary Sullivan
Nov 06, 2013 Rosemary Sullivan rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
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
Jul 04, 2011 Wanett rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 04, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 16, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
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
Oct 15, 2012 Amber rated it liked it
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
Colleen Graves
Jun 22, 2011 Colleen Graves rated it it was ok
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
Ashton Livsey
Dec 09, 2011 Ashton Livsey rated it really liked it
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
Jonathan Ryal
Sep 12, 2012 Jonathan Ryal rated it really liked it
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
Nov 19, 2012 Becky rated it liked it
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
Nov 04, 2012 Candice rated it really liked it
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
Nina Torres
Feb 03, 2016 Nina Torres rated it liked it
I thought this book was an interesting read. Anansi, the spider, found a moss covered rock in the forest and found that it had a magic power and he started irresponsibly using it on the animals. While reading the book you understand that what Anansi is doing is awful but the ending does not really match up with how you believe it should end. Overall the pictures were beautifully illustrated by Janet Stevens and it really helped give the book a bigger picture!
Kiah Swanson
Jun 06, 2016 Kiah Swanson rated it liked it
This is an engaging and funny tale that will intrigue many readers. The repetition of the story and the words themselves lends it to practicing fluency. While the story is well written and entertaining, there is a clear didactic tone in the book. The story concludes with a lesson learned and little room for an open-ended discussion. Overall, the book is fun and lively and would be excellent for fluency, but not the perfect book for read aloud.
Feb 06, 2011 Libby rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
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
Nov 09, 2012 S.N. Arly rated it really liked it
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
Ruqayya Jarad
Feb 02, 2015 Ruqayya Jarad rated it liked it
Anansi the spider is walking through the forest when something catches his eyes.It is a strange moss-covered rock.When Anansi discovers that the rock has special powers,he uses its magic to trick a Lion,Elephant,Giraffe and Zebra.The Little Bush Deer, however, will not be fooled,and uses the rock to teach Anansi a lesson.This story is for grade level K-3.
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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 about Eric A. Kimmel...

Other Books in the Series

Anansi (6 books)
  • Anansi and the Talking Melon
  • Anansi Goes Fishing
  • Anansi and the Magic Stick
  • Anansi's Party Time
  • Anansi Series

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