Peter Eric Adotey Addo
the Spider Became Bald: Folktales and Legends from West Africa
Talking Drums An Anthology of Poetry
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Books by Peter E. A.
How the Spider Became Bald
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
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
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
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
"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
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