From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2-Another of Kimmel's retellings of the fabled African spider and his escapades, joining Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock (1990) and Anansi Goes Fishing (1992, both Holiday). In this tale, lazy Anansi eats his way into Elephant's melon but is then too bloated to crawl out. The always sneaky spider decides it is a perfect opportunity to play a trick and so convinces the animal that he owns a talking melon. Elephant can't wait to share his discovery with King Monkey. Along the way he is joined by Hippo, Warthog, Ostrich, Rhino, and Turtle. King Monkey, skeptical at first, becomes irate when the melon insults him. Of course, the resulting mayhem only adds to Anansi's delight. The same elements that made Kimmel's earlier books popular are in evidence here. The snappy narration is well suited for individual reading or group sharing. The colorful line-and-wash illustrations are filled with movement and playful energy. Stevens's anthropomorphic animals are both expressive and endearing. A surefire hit.Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4-8. In a very funny trickster tale, Anansi the Spider outwits all the great galumphing gullible animals, including Elephant, Hippo, Warthog, and even the stupid king. Hiding inside a melon, the wily spider tricks the animals, one by one, into believing that the melon can talk, and what he says is usually an insult. The setting is vaguely tropical, and Stevens' double-page comic illustrations show the furious animals in all their ridiculous contortions as they try to work out what's going on with the swelling luscious fruit that is badmouthing them. The melon's most outrageous insult is that the animals are stupid enough to talk to melons. With perfect pacing and repetition and with surprising reversals up to the very last page, this is a great choice for reading aloud and storytelling. Hazel Rochman