Anasi and the Magic Stick
Author: Eric A. Kimmel
Illustrator: Janet Stevens
One fine day finds all of the animals working, working, working, except for Anansi, who would much rather lounge and think than work, even though his house and garden are going to ruin. When he notices that Hyena has a magic stick to do all of his chores, he steals it. “Hocus-pocus, Magic Stick./Plant and water./Quick, quick, quick!” That part works well enough, but when the trickster falls asleep, the stick just keeps watering, watering, watering, until his garden turns into a mighty river and then a lake. When he wakes up, he can’t remember the magic words that will stop the stick. Fortunately, Hyena floats and saves the day, but does that teach the spider a lesson? Of course not, and the story ends as he is “planning new tricks, which is just what Anansi does best.” This tale has a more traditional ring to it than Kimmel and Stevens’s Anansi and the Talking Melon (Holiday, 1994), but whimsical illustrations add a modern-day appearance. The stick waters with an assortment of up-to-date hoses, watering cans, and a circular sprinkler, and the characters include a warthog in a bathing cap, a hare wearing water wings, and caricatures of the author in a dinosaur tube and the illustrator clutching a brush in her teeth. The art has a softer focus than in Talking Melon but the same bright colors fill the pages, and the whole adds up to an enjoyable offering that is clever, funny, surprising, and traditional all at once.
That’s not a nice spider. He didn’t clean or do any work. Then he stole Hyena’s magic stick. He made a big mess and never said I’m sorry. Now he’s floating away. The crocodile will eat him, I think.
Where’s the lesson?????? Anasi tries to get out of doing any work by stealing Hyena’s stick. At first it works, then he falls asleep and the magic stick makes a huge flood and now they have a lake. Hyena saves the day, the animals don’t seem to care, and Anasi gets away with what he did. I wished there was a lesson, but this just goes to show you how evil spiders can be!