Ananse and the Lizard: A West African Tale

by Pat Cummings

It isn’t often that clever Ananse the Spider is outsmarted, but in this West... read more

It isn’t often that clever Ananse the Spider is outsmarted, but in this West African tale, Lizard manages to beat Ananse at his own game. When the village chief announces his daughter will marry the first suitor to guess her name, Ananse, being a small spider, is able to go unseen and overhears her name when the Chief’s daughter is talking to her servants. As usual, Ananse cannot help bragging about his good fortune, and its his bragging that leads to his downfall when Lizard convinces him that such an important person needs an official messenger. Pat Cummings traveled to West Africa and listened to several traditional storytellers before she found just the right Ananse story in Ghana to bring home to American children. Her bright watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations provide just the right complement to her lively retelling. (Ages 4-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2003

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