retold by Verna Aardema
pictures by Bryna Waldman
The kids and I enjoyed the story presented about Anansi and his friend Turtle. After our lesson last week we agreed to find more stories about Anansi at the library. We read several (see Weekly Report #25 for a complete list) tales from West Africa folklore… most of which featured Anansi the Spider.
My favorite was Anansi Finds a Fool retold by Verna Aardema. What I liked about this story is that it featured Anansi as a young man, rather than a spider. The moral of the story, like most of Anansi’s stories, “When you dig a hole for someone else, you will fall into it yourself.”
Frequently in children’s literature, animals are the main characters. Giving human characteristics to objects or animals is known as anthropomorphism. There are many good reasons to use animals as characters in children’s books, but one is that animals are multicultural. Children of all races and colors can relate to them. Another good reason is that you can exaggerate with animals. Animal characters can do things in a book that a child character wouldn’t do. However, anthropomorphism can also lead to misconceptions. As a member of the National Science Teachers Association, I am constantly aware of this as I read books with my children. It opens a lot of dialogue and provides an avenue for discussion.
It was very comfortable and the kiddos frequently fell asleep in the wrap. I got so accustomed to it that while doing errands around town, I could easily slip it on/off… buckle them up safely and proceed to our next stop… all the while they contined to sleep. They were close to me – could hear my heartbeat, the warmth of my body – yet I had my hands free to work. I strongly believe that the Maya Wrap (just one of many options available) – along with homeschooling, breastfeeding & co-sleeping – is one of the best choices I made as a parent.