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review 2016-07-03 17:50
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric A. Kimmel
Anansi and the Moss-covered Rock - Eric A. Kimmel,Janet Stevens

Genre:  Animals / Folktale / Africa / Trickery

Year Published: 1988

Year Read:  1997

Publisher: Holiday House

Series: Anansi #1



“Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock” is an old African folktale retold by Eric A. Kimmel, along with illustrations by Janet Stevens. This book is about how Anansi the Spider tries to trick all the animals in the forest by showing them a mysterious rock. This book is surely a delight to anyone who is interested in African folktales.

The story starts off with Anansi the Spider walking through the forest when he spotted a strange looking moss-covered rock and then he exclaims:

“Isn’t this a strange moss-covered rock?”

Suddenly, Anansi falls down unconscious and when he wakes up again, he is confused at what had just happened and when he repeated:

“Isn’t this a strange moss-covered rock?”

He falls back down again and when he wakes up the second time, he realizes the power of the moss-covered rock and he decides to use it to his advantage. Anansi then goes around tricking the other animals such as Lion and Elephant, by leading them to the moss covered rock and once the animals repeat the magic words:

“Isn’t this a strange moss-covered rock?”

They fall down unconscious on the ground and Anansi goes back to their houses and steals their food. Meanwhile, Little Bush deer has been watching Anansi the whole time and she decided to teach Anansi a lesson when Anansi tries to trick her into going to see the moss-covered rock.

Will Little Bush Deer fall for Anansi’s trick or will Little Bush Deer have the last laugh?

Read the rest of this book to find out!

Eric A. Kimmel’s retelling of this ancient folktale is hilarious and charming as Anansi uses a magical rock to get what he wants or at least that what he thinks. I thought that the idea of using an unlikely substance such as the moss-covered rock to take advantage of people by knocking them unconscious was ingenious since we usually hear about how people would simply use magic spells to control people. Janet Stevens’ illustrations are done beautifully as she illustrates each animal with realistic features that they make the animals seem to come alive in this book. The illustrations are also extremely colorful especially of the images of the forest itself as the plants are mainly in colors of pink, green, brown, and all manner of other colors and they make this book extremely bright to look at. Probably, the image that stood out the most was the image of Anansi himself as he has small beady eyes and long legs.


“Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock” is a superb tale about how tricking someone can get you in massive trouble if you are not careful and many children would definitely call this an instant treat to read over and over again. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since I do not find anything wrong with this book, unless children might have a hard time pronouncing Anansi’s name.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2015-08-08 22:31
The Green Frogs by Yumi Heo
The Green Frogs: A Korean Folktale - Yumi Heo

Genre: Folktale / Korea/ Family / Manners

Year Published: 1996

Year Read:  1997

Publisher Houghton Mifflin Company 




I have read many folktales from Russia, China, and Africa, but never have I heard a folktale from Korea. While I was searching for some children’s books in the library, I stumbled upon a book called “The Green Frogs.” At first, I thought that this was going to be a comedic story; however, I was awed at how serious yet true this story really is. “The Green Frogs” is a great story about facing the trials that each parent goes through whenever their child misbehaves and the guilty conscious that the child suffers through whenever their parents are gone. Since, this story has many Korean aspects; it is surely to be another classic folktale from around the world.


Yumi Heo does an excellent job at retelling and illustrating the escapades of the two green frogs and their mother. Yumi Heo’s retelling of an ancient Korean folktale has a great moral about the consequences of disobeying your parents as the green frogs regretted the fact that they have caused their mother nothing but grief over the years and the somewhat sad realization that Mother Frog never knew that her sons had listen to her for once in their lives. Yumi Heo’s illustrations are as creative as they are simplistic. The frogs are displayed with rounded heads and large mouths and Heo adds an assortment of plants and flies on the background to give the story a chaotic sense since the two frogs are actually chaotic throughout the entire story.


“The Green Frogs” is a fantastic Korean folktale about the importance of listening to your parents and the reality that a child would face whenever their parent passes away and they spend most of their lives regretting all the horrible acts they have committed against their parent. This book is extremely pleasant to read and is appropriate for children ages four and over, even though this book does discuss the death of a parent and how it has affected to the sons in this story.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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