Anansi the Spider: Gerald McDermott

Anansi the Spider: a tale from the Ashanti  

  • Author/Illustrator: Gerald McDermott

  • Publisher: Puffin Books

  • Publication Year: 1972

  • Brief Summary: In this traditional African folktale, Anansi the Spider is rescued from his troubles with the help of his six sons. However, when they couldn’t agree on who should get the reward — a mysterious “great globe of light” Anansi finds in the forest — Nyame, the God of All Things, puts the prize into the sky for all to see.

  • Awards (if any): Randolph Caldecott Medal, 1973 Honor Book United States

  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:

    •  Introduction to folktales…what is this genre? what makes this a folktale?
    • Themes: cooperation, selfishness, teamwork, individual strengths (each son has a unique strength that helps Anansi in a particular situation)
    • Illustrations can be used to teach geometric shapes
    • Art notes: how do the illustrations for this book differ from those in other picture books and/or other folktales — folktales from other cultures usually have illustrations that reflect the culture and its traditions (e.g. compare art for African folktales to those for Asian, European, Native American ones)
  • Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.: Illustrations reflect African traditions/motifs

  • Accessed at: Personal Library

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