Saturday, May 7, 2011

Anansi and the Talking Melon retold by Eric A Kimmel

Anansi the Spider is back (after two other books Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock and Anansi goes Fishing).  This African Fable is targeted for students in grades kindergarden through second grade.  This time Anansi borrows a hole in a melon.  Anansi eats so much he can't make his way out!  So he decides to have a little fun until his stomach goes down.  Elephant is tricked first.  Anansi begins speaking from inside of the melon.  Elephant can't believe it so he decides he must show King Monkey.  But, on his way to King Monkey he runs into a Hippo, a Warthog, an Ostrich, a Rhino, and a Turtle.  Each on totally being tricked by Anansi into thinking a melon was actually talking.  Elephant finally makes it to the King Monkey.  King Monkey can't believe it so he wants to see/hear for himself.  King Monkey asks the melon to talk but of course it doesn't....Anansi stays quite.  King Monkey demands the melon to speak, but now Anansi is enjoying the King getting irrated so Anansi stays quite.  The King has a fit and kicks the melon until it onpens up.  Anansi basically insults everyone by suggesting that who possibly believe that a melon can talk.  Thankfully he finds himself on top of a banana bunch now.

This book would be great for reading to children.  It is repeative and talking animals are a hit. 

The illustrations, by Janet Stephens, are creative, bright, and children alluring.  As a review from Booklist stated, "The setting is vaguely tropical, and Stevens' double-page comic illustrations show the furious animals in all their ridicuous contortions."

Janet Stephens is the author and illustrator of many award-winning books including the Caldecott Honor Book Tops & Bottoms, the Texas Bluebonnet winner Cook-a-Doodle-Doo!, and the Texas Bluebonnet nominee And The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon.

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