Read Aloud Hall of Fame #11: ANANSI AND THE MOSS COVERED ROCK
You need a book. A can’t miss book. A read aloud that will cast a wide net and pull everyone in. This is the idea behind The 100 Scope Notes Read Aloud Hall of Fame.
In each post I’ll share a read aloud that has never let me down. Some will be obvious and popular. Others lesser-known. All will be story time gold.
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock retold by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Janet Stevens
I find that trickster tales can be hit or miss as read alouds. Some are just too brief or too complicated to work well during storytime. But a trickster tale I return to every year is this version of Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock.
Anansi the Spider discovers a magic rock that incapacitates whomever say the magic words: “Isn’t this a strange moss-covered rock?” Anansi uses the rock to steal food from all the other forest animals, until Little Bush Deer teaches him a lesson.
Every time I read this book, I am impressed anew at how well it works. I usually pull it out to talk about fables and trickster tales, and it works like a charm. The story uses the perfect amount of repetition, letting readers anticipate what’s coming right up until Anansi has his comeuppance. And the KPOM! of animals being knocked unconscious by the rock adds a nice touch of humor. An all-around winner.
Filed under: Read Aloud Hall of Fame
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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