Intro to Diversity for Education
EDF 2085/ Section 020391
25 February 2010
Our world is filled with various cultures that make it a beautiful place. When given the right tools children can see it that too. Many books and movies can show children how being different is great and help them learn about others’ cultures and lifestyles. Anansi the spider is a book that does just that.
Anansi the Spider was written and illustrated by tale spinner, Gerald McDermott. McDermott has created over twenty-five books and films. He was admitted to Detroit Institute of Arts at only four years of age. Through his school career he continued to pursue his passion for visual arts. He graduated from Cass Tech, a public high school for gifted students. Upon graduating McDermott was awarded a national Scholastic scholarship to Pratt Institute in New York. During his junior year of college he became the first graphic designer for an educational television station in New York. During this year, he also designed his first animated film, The Stonecutter. He returned to Pratt Institute and began a series of animated films based on folklore. He then began turning his films into picture books. His first book being, Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti.
McDermott has earned Caldecott Medals for three of his books, Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti, Arrow to the Sun: A Tale from the Pueblo, and Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest. McDermott was recently named Charter Member of AOSA National Advocacy Council. The AOSA Board member Jacque Schrader said this upon bestowing this honor, “Beyond the obvious appeal to our imaginations, what is it that makes Gerald’s stories and illustrations so magnetizing? Is it his sensitive use of language, the simple beauty of the rhythm of his text? Is it the extensive research he does into the symbolism and background of the culture from which the story...