ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
I am glad to have “How the Spider Became Bald”
as part of my daughter’s book collection
Books by Peter Eric Adotey Addo
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Books by Peter E. A. Addo
I was very impressed with Reverend Addo’s rendition of West African folktales. As a Masters Student in English Literature, I found the stories to be clever, amusing and educational. The crafty spider, Ananse, has a bit of us all in him–the parts that we like about ourselves, and the parts that we wish to change. He is good at thinking on his feet, as when he protected his catch of yummy catfish from the lion, king of the jungle, or when he fulfilled a seemingly impossible task assigned by God, securing the spider’s place as the Main Hero of Folktales.
Yet Ananse also demonstrates greed and selfishness, and the tales show how those traits lead to trouble. When a famine leads to death and starvation, the greedy spider finds a source of food, but does not share it with his family. Addo spins a tale of actions and consequences that is not only amusing, but one that reminds us all of the need for generosity.
As a new mother, I am glad to have “How the Spider Became Bald” as part of my daughter’s book collection. This book allows me to foster multiculturalism, by sharing West African legends, and it also gives me an opportunity to show her how people everywhere are basically the same. I definitely recommend this book for any parent and anyone interested in African/African-American Studies.Reader from Atlanta, Georgia (September 28, 1998
In a world where children are more apt to watch the pathos of Jerry Springer, Addo’s “How the Spider Became Bald” adds to the treasury of works parents can turn to for their childrens’ need to have positive reading.
Spider has the ring of an Alex Haley folktale as heard on his grandmother’s porch…where Haley pieced together threads of his family’s tales: leading to Roots.
Addo’s decades as a cleric show through as does his keen sensitivity to linking West African folklore to the Faulkner and Twain genres of American South folklore.
This little book is indeed a tour de force. Should be in homes & school libraries, especially for parents and teachers who search for Afrocentric treasrues. This one’s a gem.William H. Turner, PhD, Winston-Salem, NC May 23, 1998
This is a book you can share with your whole family. As I read HOW THE SPIDER BECAME BALD, I felt the passion and the strength of storytelling. There were lessons to be learned and a culture to be felt. This book is the essence of a good translation. The writer doesn’t get caught up in jargon and rhetoric but finds it a necessity to develop aesthetics and the true NATURE of Ghanaian folklore. The stories were filled with life, and I could hear the storyteller speaking. As I read, I smiled and found myself wanting to share this material with others, and I did share. It not only entertains, but it educates. This is definitely a book to share with family and friends.Reader, April 19, 1999
I love to read this book over and over. It is rich with tradition and helps me to understand my heritage in storytelling. This is also great with telling to children. I often read this to my younger sisters and they love it. I usually have to read the whole book to them. This book also helps them understand our heritage also. I recommend this book to people of all ages, especially those in college, like me, who want to learn more about our African tradition. This is a great way for us to pass this on to generations to come. –Reader, January 27, 1999
In “Talking Drums,” Peter E.A. Addo has given readers more than “his best”: He has given them a piece of history, a piece of love, and a piece of his soul.
Born and raised in West Africa, Addo’s work reflects his and his countrymen’s reaction to changes in their home country of Ghana. In his verse he speaks with candor, vision, and wisdom about the pride of Africa and his heartfelt patriotism to the Red, Yellow, and Green.
Addo’s years in the United States have also made a significant impression on his consciousness, and he expresses appreciation for many of the features of the country. In eloquent verse he mourns with U.S. citizens over the devastating Oklahoma City terrorist attack in 1995.
Always important to Addo are people, and this is shown as he explores the trials and fancies of youth in his works. Also expressed is appreciation and love for our Savior Jesus Christ.
“Talking Drums” is a masterful collection of poetry which tells the significant stories of the past half-century through lyrical, touching, and powerful verse. It is a collection every reflective person should read.Amazon Description
How the Spider Became Bald. Morgan Reynolds (September 1993)
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updated 14 February 2009