Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock / Kimmel, Eric A.
In this West African tale, which is also familiar in Caribbean culture, Anansi the Spider finds a magical moss-covered rock in the forest. He realizes that anyone near the rock who says, "Isn't this a strange moss-covered rock!" falls down and passes out for an hour. He uses this rock to trick all the animals and steals their food. Little Bush Deer discovers Anansi's trick and uses the magic rock against Anansi. Then Little Bush Deer leads the animals to Anansi's house to retrieve the stolen food. Stevens creates bright, colourful illustrations with what appears to be watercolour paints. She uses a combination of spot, one-page, one-and-one-third page, and two-page illustrations. The repetitive elements of Kimmel's text is likewise shown in Stevens paintings. I especially liked the two-page spreads that contained four spot illustrations that showed the progression of the story. For example, on one two-page spread, Stevens shows the Rhinoceros, the Hippopotamus, the Giraffe, and the Zebra all unconscious and each lying in the same position. Children will like the repeating text of the story and the fact that the youngest character in the story saves the day.
African folktales, Anansi
Ages 7 - 8 / Grades 2 - 3