Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock
Anansi the Spider happens upon an unusual stone that magically puts him to sleep for an hour. The master trickster decides to use the rock to get the food stores from the rest of the local residents. Each animal is taken in turn to the strange moss-covered rock, says the magic phrase, and promptly falls asleep to have its food pilfered by Anansi. All the while, however, Little Bush Deer silently watches. Ultimately, it is small and shy Deer who outwits Anansi and returns the food to its rightful owners. Although no specific source is given, Kimmel has retold a West African tale (said to be known in Caribbean culture). The text is rhythmic, nicely building suspense to the inevitable conclusion. Stevens' complementary, colorful illustrations add detail, humor, and movement to the text. Here, Anansi is portrayed as a large eight-legged arachnid; his expression is in his motion. The other animals are almost realistic, although with facial expressions that are characteristic of the artist's work. This new picture book Anansi tale will be welcomed by all trickster fans.