Cover image for Ananse and the lizard : a West African tale
Title:
Ananse and the lizard : a West African tale
Author:
Cummings, Pat.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Summary:
Ananse the spider thinks he will marry the daughter of the village chief, but instead he is outsmarted by Lizard.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.0 0.5 65636.
ISBN:
9780805064766
Format :
Book

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PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
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PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area-Black History
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PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
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PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
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PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
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PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Searching...
Searching...
PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
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PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PZ8.1.C895 AN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Can the legendary trickster be out-tricked?

All the young men had gathered in the village courtyard to hear the Chief's pronouncement: Whoever guesses his daughter's name will have her hand in marriage, inherit half his riches, and become the next Chief. No one outside the palace had ever heard the royal daughter's name.

In a stroke of luck Ananse the spider discovers the secret.

"I, Ananse the most wise . . . the most clever . . . I alone know the name of the Chief's daughter! . . ."

But clever Lizard has plans of his own.

Pat Cumming's lively retelling and vibrant illustrations capture all the mischief and humor of Ananse, one of the most popular characters of West African lore.


Author Notes

Pat Cummings , the creator of almost thirty books for children, has received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, the Horn Book-Boston Globe Award and the National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction. Ms. Cummings, her husband, Chuku Lee, and their cat, Cash, live in beautiful downtown Brooklyn, New York.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr. 3. In a tale from Ghana, Ananse the spider is overjoyed to hear that whoever guesses the name of the daughter of the village chief will be rewarded with her hand and half the kingdom. He's confident he'll be the "lucky" one--especially after he fortuitously hears her name spoken. However, as the boastful, opportunistic spider learns, not everyone is trustworthy, particularly sly Lizard, who has his own agenda. Cummings' lively prose and humor are a perfect match for the story. The boxed text is accompanied by gorgeous watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations, rich in color and lively pattern and detail that vividly portray the African setting, and there's an expressive cast of characters, animal and human, in both the dramatic close-ups and the expansive overviews. A prologue sets scene and mood and introduces the legendary trickster; a brief epilogue ties in the pourquoi aspect of why lizards stretch their necks. A real treat that will go into folktale collections and into the Ananse canon. --Shelle Rosenfeld


Publisher's Weekly Review

The avaricious arachnid returns in this trickster-gets-tricked tale from Ghana. Ananse the Spider and scheming Lizard both aim to marry the chief's daughter and thus acquire half his kingdom. Potential husbands, however, must correctly guess the daughter's name; anyone who guesses incorrectly will have his head "chopped off and fed to the buzzards!" Cummings (Angel Boy) sets the scene with ample descriptions and asides, and dialogue helps expedite the lengthy narrative. "I, Ananse the most wise... the most clever... I alone know the name of the Chief's daughter!... And soon, I will be so-o-o rich!" the greedy Ananse announces after fortuitously overhearing the princess addressed as Ahoaf. Mixed-media paintings energize the retelling with dramatic use of color and detail. (Even Ananse, a stylized spider with human expressions, is arrayed in distinctive, multicolored West African garb.) The vantage shifts easily from an elevated spider's-eye view of a bustling village scene to a close-up of the villagers' expressive faces. In an especially reptilian-feeling illustration, Lizard's thick green neck extends across a spread, his half-lidded eyes bulging and thin lips slyly smirking, as he procures Ahoaf's name from Ananse and claims her for himself. With Ananse vowing revenge, the concluding lines explain "why a lizard stretches its neck"-because Lizard is still on the lookout. This dynamic book will keep readers on their toes, too. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-In this delightful new tale about the old West African trickster, children learn why lizards stretch their necks. Ananse arrives in a busy Ghanaian village to join the many young men who hope to win the hand of the Chief's daughter by guessing her name. The crowd thins out when the penalty for error is announced, but Ananse is confident. In fact, he overhears the servants talking and immediately fancies himself a Chief. Lizard now steps forward and a-s-s-s-ks to be the messenger of Ananse's news to the palace. In fact, of course, Lizard becomes the bridegroom and the spider storms away threatening to tear him to pieces. That is why, to this day, Lizard looks every which way. Cummings's retelling of this "Rumpelstiltskin" variant is humorous and folksy while her gouache-and-watercolor paintings capture the brightly colored array of Ashanti patterns and the bustling activities of the village streets. The insects, especially Grasshopper, move their many appendages humorously. Cummings credits her version to a story found in a bookshop in Ghana where she has traveled extensively. A vivacious retelling, vibrantly illustrated.-Susan Pine, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.