THE POT OF WISDOM by Adwoa Badoe


Ananse Stories
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10


Ananse generally comes out second best in these ten folktales from Ghanaian author and storyteller Badoe (Queen’s New Shoes, 1998, etc.). Usually, it’s his own fault: unbridled greed drives him to steal food from his own family, only to be so embarrassed when caught that spiders still retreat to dark corners (“Why Ananse Lives on the Ceiling”); pride makes him style, and thereby drop and break, his pot of wisdom; bad behavior, or arrogance, lead him into further misfortune. Still, he does triumph now and again, becoming the “Owner of Stories” by capturing bees, Nanka the python, and an elusive forest dwarf, and gaining a beautiful wife with a clever trick (and keeping her with another). Badoe retells the tales, all of which she heard as a child, in a simply phrased, good-humored way. Diakité (The Hatseller and the Monkeys, 1999, etc.) opens each with an evocatively stylized picture, on a glazed earthenware tile, of a spider with human head and hands. Most of the stories will not be new to veteran Ananse fans, but the author’s distinctive voice and variations give them fresh life. (Folktales. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-88899-429-X
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2001


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