Celebrated folklorist Aardema ( Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears ) captures the buoyant rhythms of oral literature once again in this lighthearted Ashanti tale of a trickster done in by his own foolishness. Lazy Anansi hopes to find a fishing partner who will do all the work and leave him with the catch. Aware of the scheme, his friend Bonsu volunteers, offering to cut the branches for the trap if Anansi will get tired for him. ``The tiredness is the worst part!'' protests the unsuspecting Anansi. ``I'll do the cutting myself. And YOU must get tired for ME!'' Bonsu's deception continues with each successive task until Anansi is left with nothing but a broken trap, while Bonsu takes home the lone fish. Its keen banter notwithstanding, Aardema's fable has no more malice than does a good-natured prank. Likewise, Waldman's pastel-hued watercolors reveal an array of animated, bemused faces and intriguing glimpses of a foreign lifestyle. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Gr 1-3-- In this retelling of an Ashanti tale, the greedy, lazy Anansi decides to go into the fishing business. His plan is to find a fool for a partner who will do all the work, while he gets all the fish; but the scheme backfires when his clever friend Bonsu devises a way to beat him at his own game. The two men and their wives are depicted in traditional West African garb, and the watercolor illustrations glow with a clear, warm light. An amusing tale of a trickster out-tricked. --Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library
In this Ashanti folktale, Anansi, in human form, tries to outsmart his neighbor Bonsu. Proposing that they go fishing together, Anansi plans to have his partner do all the work while he collects the fish. Instead, Bonsu tricks the trickster, making Anansi look the fool. Brief introductory notes identify the source of the story and provide pronunciations and explanations for a few African names and words. Attractive double-page spreads feature boxes of text set in colorful watercolor paintings. Waldman's overexaggeration of the characters' gestures and facial expressions makes the artwork weaker than Aardema's fluid writing, but the book would probably be effective for reading aloud in elementary school classrooms as well as individually.