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Monday, August 2, 2010

Anansi's Party Time, written by Eric Kimmel and illustrated by Janet Stevens. Holiday House, T Allen. 2009. $8.95 ages 5 and up

"Turtle and Anansi went fishing together. Turtle played a trick on Anansi. Anansi did not forget. He waited a long time to get even. Months later, long after Turtle had forgotten about the trick, a letter from Anansi appeared in his mailbox."

It seems that spiders have long memories when someone does them wrong. In their first tale, Anansi Goes Fishing, Turtle tricked Anansi into doing all the work needed for catching a fish. Then he ate the fish without any help from his spider friend. Anansi gets no sympathy when he complains, as his reputation for trickery precedes him. In this lively companion to that first book, Anansi decides to exact revenge.

He invites Turtle to a party at his house, providing a map that takes Turtle in circles until he finally reaches the party place. You know, of course, that Turtle is slow to get where he's going. When he finally arrives, Anansi wonders about his costume. Off Turtle goes to get dressed up and return.

Back and forth Turtle goes, each time returning with an Anansi request. By the time he makes his last trip, the party is over! Realizing he's been duped, Turtle turns his thoughts to a trick of his own. When Anansi receives the invitation to Turtle's soiree, he is delighted and follows his map closely. Ah, he'll have to swim, as Turtle's house is underwater. Crab provides the anchor for keeping Anansi at party central.

The fact that he can't let go of Crab to partake of the refreshments is a source of concern for him. Crab manages to eat what Anansi can not. When Anansi wins the prize for the guessing game, he is further distressed....eight balloons are sure to force him to the surface. Crab makes a grab for them, and the two soon find themselves atop the moon! How will they get home? That's for the next tale, I'm sure!

Kids love these stories and that has ensured their popularity over the years! In the capable hands of this fine team, we have a library of tales that will entertain and keep young readers laughing through repeated readings. Be sure to check for the won't be disappointed!

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