Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: Coyote Tales
Publish June 13, 2018
Cocky, mischievous and stubborn, Coyote gets into plenty of scrapes – insulting the Moon into hiding in a pond is one. Still, Coyote’s faults become assets as An Inconvenient Indian author Thomas King tells us the story of why coyotes howl at the moon. Stealing the skins of other animals for the sake of vanity is not Coyote’s idea, but he does pay the price for his deception. Raven is the one who reaps the benefits. Revealing much about Indigenous beliefs, King explores animal life and relationships, and the tales that have sewn the world together.
In this collection of two of King’s beloved stories about the Coyote Trickster – Coyote Sings to the Moon and Coyote’s New Suit – illustrator Byron Eggenschwiler has drawn whimsical illustrations to accompany King’s colourful characters. Coyote, for example, is a bumbling troublemaker who is easily influenced. Raven is a mastermind when it comes to influencing others.
King develops Coyote’s mythology with humour, using the short story format to great effect as each tale deserves to be re-read and examined for its minute detail. From Old Woman’s uncanny wisdom and guile, to the indignant humans whose clothes have gone missing from the washline, there are great characters told in a tone that feels like a soothing bedtime story.
Coyote Tales is a delightful read for all ages, meant to be shared and savoured as it showcases King’s phenomenal storytelling abilities, and takes the reader on an imaginative journey.
An avid promoter of Canadian teen fiction, Amy Mathers completed the Marathon of Books in 2014. The money she raised allowed the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to fund the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. She also reviews for the Canadian Children’s Book News and writes a monthly article for the CCBC e-newsletter.
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