Anansi the Spider

  • Title: Anansi the Spider
  • Author: Gerald McDermott
  • Illustrator: Gerald McDermott
  • Publisher: Square Fish, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing
  • Publication year: 1972
  • Brief Summary: From Macmillan Publishing-“Anansi the Spider is one of the great folk heroes of the world. He is a rogue, a mischief maker, and a wise, lovable creature who triumphs over larger foes. In this traditional Ashanti tale, Anansi sets out on a long, difficult journey. Threatened by Fish and Falcon, he is saved from terrible fates by his sons. But which of his sons should Anansi reward? Calling upon Nyame, the God of All Things, Anansi solves his predicament in a touching and highly resourceful fashion. In adapting this popular folktale, Gerald McDermott merges the old with the new, combining bold, rich color with traditional African design motifs and authentic Ashanti language rhythms.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – While I think there are still school libraries that have this book in circulation, this is one that I think could easily be weeded (especially because of copyright) and replaced with something like Jambo Means Hello or Munfaro’s Beautiful Daughters.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – This is another problematic picture book for me, in the same vein as A Story, A Story was. McDermott is neither an African American author nor did he list any references for his “tale.” So, while the colorful illustrations would be eye-catching for children, I just don’t think this book needs to be in school libraries nor will it be on my top 50 list.

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