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Tiger Soup: An Anansi Story from Jamaica Hardcover – September, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Temple, known for her novels ( Taste of Salt ; The Ramsay Scallop ), reworks a Jamaican tale starring Anansi, the notorious trickster spider, to great effect in this snappy picture book. While Tiger busily brews some sweet coconut-mango soup for himself, a hungry Anansi wonders how to get the chef to abandon his pot. "Soup time, Anansi, m'dear. Hi-heee!" he exclaims. The wily spider finally tempts Tiger to take a cool dip in "Blue Hole." Thinking he'll be soon rid of the menace, Tiger dives into the water, leaving his meal unattended. A now full-bellied Anansi, however, will not be caught, and he uses his cunning to pass the blame onto some unsuspecting monkeys. While younger children might be thrown by unusual phrasing, Jamaican dialect gives an authentic rhythm and flavor to Temple's story. Torn- and painted-paper collage artwork often features unusual perspectives. The intense hues of Tiger's coat and the Blue Hole water convey a tropical feel, while smiling brown monkeys and a black Anansi with big green eyes entertain throughout. A script for presenting this story as a play can be found on the inside of the book's jacket. Temple's rare versatility is a welcome discovery. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-A delightful trickster tale from Jamaica. Tiger prepares a sweet soup for himself, but Anansi distracts him from eating it, insisting that they go swimming together first. Tiger plunges into the water, but the spider, of course, sneaks off to consume the soup. Fearing Tiger's wrath, he happens upon some unsuspecting monkeys and teaches them a song about eating the soup. Then, encouraging them to sing loudly, he disappears into the woods. When Tiger hears them, he seeks revenge. However, the spritely creatures escape into the trees, and Anansi goes free-as always. Temple's retelling is filled with the easy rhythm of the Jamaican dialect and begs to be read-even partly sung-aloud. The story moves along at a pleasant pace and provides opportunities for participation. Its liberal doses of humor and Anansi's not-too-subtle trickery will produce knowing laughs in even the youngest children. The torn-and-painted paper collages convey the warmth and color of the tropical setting and suggest a real sense of movement. The tiger pounces, the spider scurries, and the monkeys fairly dance off their double-page spreads. The endpapers feature a short script of the story. Add a touch of calypso or reggae music, a smattering of homemade sound effects, and some eager actors, and you'll get a piece that is sure to charm any audience. Pair this with Eric Kimmel's Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock (Holiday, 1988) to compare the ways different cultures treat this clever hero.
Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, Wheeler School, Providence, RI
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books (September 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531068595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531068595
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,214,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Viola J. Griffin on June 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was an excellent book. The Anansi stories are always a delight and this one did not let us down. My first graders were at the edge of their seats waiting to find out what Anansi would do next. They roared with laughter at the way Anansi tricked the monkeys.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
We are told that the book is suitable for the four-to-eight age range, but I bought it, attracted by the truly wonderful, vivid, illustrations and read it to my two-year-old. It is currently her favourite book, she demands it many times a day and understands the story line. In addition she is attracted by the cadence of the language, and enjoys singing the words to different tunes, and making up additional words to go in Anansi's song. An excellent introduction to the Anansi stories--I hope that the author writes (and illustrates!) many more for young readers.
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