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 - 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