This collection of tales about Anansi, the story hero of the Ashanti people of Africa's Gold Coast, exhibits the care of a practiced folklorist whose other collections, Ride With the Sun etc. are familiar. Anansi is a spider, always tricky, sometimes chastised for his tricks. The title story comes from one of his more disgraceful episodes- the time when Anansi was acting too virtuous at a funeral and then had to disguise the fact that he'd broken a fast. Others portray Anansi sitting in judgment on age, passing off debts, winning the right to tell all the stories and so forth. Mr. Courlander has had valuable assistance from an African student and the notes on the stories and Ashanti culture are enlightening. For Anansi's migration to the West Indies see Philip Sherlock's collection, Anansi, the Spider Man (Crowell, 1954). Enrico Arno's spidery drawings are styled like African images. Read-aloud, too.