Ronyell's Reviews > Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti

Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott
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Jul 28, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: african-books, animal-books, fairy-tales-folktales, gerald-mcdermott, summer-100-book-challenge-2010, read-in-2010
Read in July, 2010

“Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti” is a Caldecott Honor Book from master storyteller Gerald McDermott and it is about how Anansi’s six sons try to save Anansi from all kinds of trouble he gets involved in. “Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti” may have a confusing sentence structure that younger children might not understand, but it is still a great book for people who are fans of Anansi the Spider.

Gerald McDermott has done a brilliant job at both illustrating and writing this story of Anansi and his sons. Gerald McDermott makes this story extremely exciting and intense at the same time as Anansi is put through all sorts of danger and his sons try everything to rescue him. Gerald McDermott thoroughly explains the importance of family in this book as Anansi’s sons use their special abilities to save their father and children will easily learn the message of this book about the importance of standing by your family’s side through tough situations and I also loved the way that this story is set up as the same plot structure as “The Fool and the Flying Ship” and “The Six Servants” as the sons also have special abilities that help the main character. Gerald McDermott’s illustrations are once again done in a sort of 1970s retro style as Anansi the Spider and his sons rarely have a clearly defined body shape as their legs are like block shaped sticks and Anansi has yellow round eyes and blue, triangle shaped eyebrows and a triangular orange mouth. The images that stood out the most were the images of Anansi’s sons as they have no expressions on their faces, but they have signs on their bodies that indicate their special abilities such as Road Builder having a large “X” on his body and Game Skinner having two scissors on his body.

Parents should know that the sentences in this book seem to be in fragments, meaning that a couple of articles such as “the” and “a” are missing from each sentence and also the sentences would start on one page and then continue on the next page without a period completing the sentence and that might confuse smaller children who are trying to learn how to read for the first time. Parents might want to discuss sentence structures to their children before they read them this book so that children would not be easily confused by the story.

“Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti” is a great story about the importance of family and children who love reading folktales about Anansi will easily love this book. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the confusing sentence structure will confuse smaller children.
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