Library:ADCLP/Anansi and the magic stick

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Anansi and the magic stick / Kimmel, Eric A.


Anansi the Spider would rather sleep than work all day. After being teased by his friends about his laziness, Anansi wanders down to Hyena’s house and discovers that Hyena has a magic stick that does all his work for him. Anansi steals the magic stick, but has trouble controlling it and forgets the magic words to get it to stop. When Hyena comes looking for his stick, Anansi is happy to give it back. This picture book is loosely based on a Liberian folktale called “The Magic Hoe” and contains the motif of magic that gets out of control. Kimmel’s lyrical text makes this an excellent read aloud. Children will like the pattern of havoc that the stick causes, first for Lion, then for Zebra, and then for Warthog. As well, they will like hearing the repetition of the words “working, working, working” and “sleeping, sleeping, sleeping.” Stevens creates bright, colourful, humorous illustrations with watercolours, watercolour crayon, acrylics, and digital elements. She uses a combination of spot, one-page, and two-page illustrations, and places the text around the illustrations or framed within a plain border. Children will be surprised and delighted with the pictures of Kimmel and Stevens that are incorporated into one of the illustrations in the middle of the book.The publisher assigns an interest level of ages four to eight for this book, and I think it could be read independently by a good grade 1 reader.


Africa, Anansi (Legendary character), Legends.Anansi (Legendary character), Legends.Folklore, West.

Reading Levels

Ages 6 - 8 / Grades 1 - 3

Publication History

  • New York : Holiday House, 2001. 1 v. (unpaged) :. ISBN 0823414434