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Kindergarten-Grade 2-In this original tale, all of the little spiders admire Anancy, who is the biggest and the best. They invite him to join them for a party near the scary Haunted House inhabited by a dancing rooster with a fondness for spiders' legs. Anancy, true to form, swaggers through the door and promptly loses his nerve, his cool, and nearly his life. The little spiders come to his rescue, imprison the rooster in their silky strands, and free their friend. The author attempts to write in the style of cautionary "Anansi" stories but fails. The story line lacks cohesion, humor, and subtlety. The illustrations, rendered in watercolor and pencil, are unattractive and portray Anancy as a buffoon who needs makeup lessons. Skip this version.
Susan Pine, New York Public Library
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Stéphane Jorisch's buoyant watercolor and pencil illustrations ... capture the essence of Anancy beautifully. (Jeffrey Canton Quill and Quire 2002-11-00)
It is no wonder that tales featuring the lovable eight-legged trickster Anancy...turn up regularly in children's literature. Most are re-workings of stories which originated among the Ashanti people of Ghana; however Keens-Douglas' tale entitled Anancy and the Haunted House is an original one. As a first class storyteller, the author knows exactly how to produce a written text that mimics the oral tradition.... [Stephane] Jorisch's always bold and often wacky depictions of the characters and setting in this tale should tickle the fancy of readers young and old. The style and length of this Anancy tale makes it perfect, either by itself, or as one of several selections chosen by a teachers or librarian, for story hour presentation. Recommended. (Val Nielsen Canadian Materials 2002-09-20)