Tiger is very busy preparing a delicious soup. So delicious that it attracts that tricky spider Anansi, who persuades Tiger that it is really time to take a dip in the watering hole before he sits down to eat his soup. While Tiger is splashing and having a good time, Anansi slurps up the yummy soup, and then manages to get the monkeys to take the blame. The monkeys head for the safety of the trees which is where they live to this day. A charming pourquoi story.
PreS-Gr 3-A delightful trickster tale from Jamaica. Tiger prepares a sweet soup for himself, but Anansi distracts him from eating it, insisting that they go swimming together first. Tiger plunges into the water, but the spider, of course, sneaks off to consume the soup. Fearing Tiger's wrath, he happens upon some unsuspecting monkeys and teaches them a song about eating the soup. Then, encouraging them to sing loudly, he disappears into the woods. When Tiger hears them, he seeks revenge. However, the spritely creatures escape into the trees, and Anansi goes free-as always. Temple's retelling is filled with the easy rhythm of the Jamaican dialect and begs to be read-even partly sung-aloud. The story moves along at a pleasant pace and provides opportunities for participation. Its liberal doses of humor and Anansi's not-too-subtle trickery will produce knowing laughs in even the youngest children. The torn-and-painted paper collages convey the warmth and color of the tropical setting and suggest a real sense of movement. The tiger pounces, the spider scurries, and the monkeys fairly dance off their double-page spreads. The endpapers feature a short script of the story. Add a touch of calypso or reggae music, a smattering of homemade sound effects, and some eager actors, and you'll get a piece that is sure to charm any audience. Pair this with Eric Kimmel's Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock (Holiday, 1988) to compare the ways different cultures treat this clever hero.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, Wheeler School, Providence, RI