From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3. Ananse tales are many; nevertheless, this rendition, so full of trickery and comeuppance, deserves space on library shelves. Mollel spins a plot that hums mirthfully along, right in step with Ananse, who is blithely preparing a feast for himself. Never mind that a drought is parching the land and that food is scarce?clever Ananse has stored up yams, peppers, rice, and beans and plans to take full advantage. When Akye the turtle gets a whiff and comes calling, Ananse can't turn his friend away and invites him to stay. If that sounds too generous for the wily spider, you're right. Ananse declares the turtle's hands are too dirty and sends him?once, twice, three times?to the river for washing. Akye, who must use his hands for walking, always returns still full of smudge, but by the time he realizes Ananse's treachery, the spider has devoured all the food. Seemingly unperturbed, Akye makes plans for his own kind of feast in a way that undoes Ananse, but will have children cheering. Glass brightens the tale with oil and colored-pencil illustrations and reflects the ongoing drama with changing facial expressions that heighten the humor. Ragged lines and layered colors, toned with rustic hues, give vibrancy and the artist's bulbous portrayal of the spider adds new dimension (literally) to the Ananse lineup.?Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4^-8. When Akye the turtle knocks on his door, Ananse feels obliged to invite him to share his meal, but the spider tricks his friend into leaving the table several times, during which Ananse eats all the food. Soon the turtle turns the tables on his friend by inviting Ananse to a feast at the bottom of the river. Ananse can stay under water only by putting pebbles in the pockets of his robe. When Akye insists that his guest remove the robe for courtesy, Ananse floats up and away from the beautiful food. The turtle's revenge is complete (and subtle, and sweet). Varied in composition and bright with layers of color, the oil-and-colored-pencil artwork captures the actions, reactions, and emotions of the two main characters with a great sense of playfulness and humor. With its well-cadenced text and witty, colorful illustrations, this picture book makes a rewarding choice for reading aloud. Carolyn Phelan