Anansi and the Talking Melon

Anansi and the Talking Melon

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by Eric A. Kimmel

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A spider tricks other animals into thinking a melon can talk.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Readers follow Anansi, the tricky West African arachnid, as he wiggles his way, in and out of a juicy cantaloupe and a heap of trouble. Crafty but harmless, this tiny spider manages to pull the legs of his huge and hairy neighbors, Warthog, Hippo and Elephant. Well-written, humorous dialogue suggests this melon tale is ripe for a stage-play.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
When Anansi, the trickster, bores a hole into one of Elephant's juicy melons, he eats so much that he can't get out. To avoid Elephant's wrath, Anansi begins talking from inside the melon. Convinced he has a valuable find, Elephant, followed by a host of other animals, takes the melon to the Gorilla King. Anansi plays his part to the hilt. The vivid colors make those melons irresistible. Elephant discovers that talking melons are nothing but trouble!
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Another of Kimmel's retellings of the fabled African spider and his escapades, joining Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock (1990) and Anansi Goes Fishing (1992, both Holiday). In this tale, lazy Anansi eats his way into Elephant's melon but is then too bloated to crawl out. The always sneaky spider decides it is a perfect opportunity to play a trick and so convinces the animal that he owns a talking melon. Elephant can't wait to share his discovery with King Monkey. Along the way he is joined by Hippo, Warthog, Ostrich, Rhino, and Turtle. King Monkey, skeptical at first, becomes irate when the melon insults him. Of course, the resulting mayhem only adds to Anansi's delight. The same elements that made Kimmel's earlier books popular are in evidence here. The snappy narration is well suited for individual reading or group sharing. The colorful line-and-wash illustrations are filled with movement and playful energy. Stevens's anthropomorphic animals are both expressive and endearing. A surefire hit.-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Hazel Rochman
In a very funny trickster tale, Anansi the Spider outwits all the great galumphing gullible animals, including Elephant, Hippo, Warthog, and even the stupid king. Hiding inside a melon, the wily spider tricks the animals, one by one, into believing that the melon can talk, and what he says is usually an insult. The setting is vaguely tropical, and Stevens' double-page comic illustrations show the furious animals in all their ridiculous contortions as they try to work out what's going on with the swelling luscious fruit that is badmouthing them. The melon's most outrageous insult is that the animals are stupid enough to talk to melons. With perfect pacing and repetition and with surprising reversals up to the very last page, this is a great choice for reading aloud and storytelling.

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.34(w) x 9.73(h) x 0.33(d)
340L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Janet Stevens has written and/or illustrated many popular books, including Coyote Steals the Blanket: A Ute Tale. She lives with her husband, Ted, and their two children, Lindsey and Blake, in Boulder, Colorado.

Eric A. Kimmel has written, retorld, and adapted a number of stories from around the world, including two other Anansi titles, Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock and Anansi Goes Fishing. The Anansi Tales are originally from West Africa but are also familiar in Caribbean culture, where Anansi is a beloved folklore character.
Professor of Education at Portland State University, Dr. Kimmel and his wife, Doris, live in Portland, Oregon.

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