Anansi and the Talking Melon

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by Eric A. Kimmel

illus by Janet Stevens

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Bibliographic Data

Original Publication Date: 1994
Publisher: Holiday House
Imprint: IMPRINT
ISBN 0823411044
Hardcover Price: $PRICE
Paperback Price: $PRICE
Number of Pages: PAGES

Best for ages: AGES

Library of Congress Descriptor: BLURB

Awards: AWARDS

Best of Year Lists: LISTS

Review Citations: CITATIONS


Type of Book: TYPE

Genres: GENRES

Topics and Themes: TOPICS


This is a very silly and fun story of a lazy spider who wonders into an Elephant’s melon patch. Using a thorn, he cuts open a hole just large enough for a spider to climb inside and eat his fill of melon. After eating until he got too fat climb back out the hole, he decides to play a trick on the elephant instead. The trouble that the talking melon causes along its journey catches the attention of many of the animals in the jungle. They take the special melon to the king who does not think the jokes of the melon are funny and dismisses it from his presence. No one in the jungle ever realized that the melon is not magic at all but simply stuffed with a fat, bored spider.


I would definetly read this story to my class. It is very silly and portrayed many animals and funny pranks. The author, Eric A. Kimmel, did a nice job of telling a story incorportaing the famous Anansi the spider. This spider is one of the most famous gods of West African folklore and is represented in many children’s books. The author appears to have no ties into the culture itself so therefore, I don’t believe this story is a good representation of the African culture or folklore and would not try and connect it to the country when sharing it with the class. This particular tale of Anansi the spider would be appropriate for children ages 3-8.



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