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ANANSI FINDS A FOOL by Verna Aardema


adapted by Verna Aardema & illustrated by Bryna Waldman

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-8037-1164-6
Publisher: Dial Books

In Kimmel's version of this Ashanti tale (Anansi Goes Fishing, p. 612), the trickster-hero is a spider; here, he's a lazy man who wants to trick his friend Bonsu into fishing for him. Like Kimmel's turtle, Bonsu agrees to do all the work if only Anansi will get tired for him, but Anansi—objecting that the tiredness is the worst part—foolishly insists on working. In the end, the fish are taken by a python and a crocodile and Anansi has nothing to show for his labors but a tired back and the villagers' ridicule. Aardema's style, refined over 30 illustrious years, is fluid and economical. Waldman's watercolors, more literal than the work of most of her predecessors (notably the Dillons' Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, 1976 Caldecott), are full of lovely details of textiles, pottery, basketry, and thatch-roofed mud houses. Just right for reading or telling. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-9)