Storytime: Anansi’s Trickster Tales

Anansi the spider is perhaps the most famous of the trickster tales from West Africa and the Caribbean. There are many great retellings, by my favorites are the collaborations between Eric Kimmel and Janet Stevens.

Tiger Soup: an Anansi Story from Jamaica by Frances Temple

Tiger Soup: an Anansi Story from Jamaica by Frances Temple

Tiger Soup: an Anansi Story from Jamaica by Frances Temple

After tricking Tiger into leaving the soup he has been cooking, Anansi the spider eats the soup himself and manages to put the blame on the monkeys.

Ananse and the Lizard: a West African Tale by Pat Cummings

Ananse and the Lizard: a West African Tale by Pat Cummings

Ananse and the Lizard: a West African Tale by Pat Cummings

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.

Anansi's Party Time by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Janet Stevens

Anansi's Party Time by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Janet Stevens

Anansi’s Party Time by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Janet Stevens

Anansi is throwing a party. He invites Turtle, but plays so many tricks on him that Turtle can’t have any fun. So, Turtle decides to get even and throws a party of his own.

Anansi and the Magic Stick  by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Janet Stevens

Anansi and the Magic Stick by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Janet Stevens

Anansi and the Magic Stick  by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Janet Stevens

Hyena has a magic stick that follows his orders. If Anansi steals the stick, he’ll never have to work again, and his home will be the neatest one in town. Is the magic stick his secret for success? Or the beginning of disasters he can’t even imagine?

Anansi and the Talking Melon by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Janet Stevens

Anansi and the Talking Melon by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Janet Stevens

Anansi and the Talking Melon by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Janet Stevens

A clever spider tricks Elephant and some other animals into thinking the melon in which he is hiding can talk.

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