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Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest Paperback – April 19, 1999


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Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest + Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest + Jabutí the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152019588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152019587
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 11 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This "splendid" adaptation of a Zuni folktale, PW said, is "perfectly paced for an amusing read-aloud, with illustrations that are equally accomplished." Ages 4-8. (May)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-A short, uncomplicated story in which Coyote decides he wants to fly with the crows. They humor him, give him feathers, and tolerate his offkey singing and out-of-step dancing, until he begins to boast and order them about. Then, as Coyote struggles in midair, they take back their feathers one by one and he plummets to earth. His tail catches fire, and he tumbles into the dirt. To this day he is the color of dust and his tail has a burnt, black tip. The full-page illustrations, executed in gouache, colored pencil, and pastels, are brilliantly colored, with bold patterns, angular forms, and orange backgrounds. Children will enjoy the visual portrayal of Coyote, who is blue, vain, eager, and heedless of consequences, and they will laugh at the pictures of the various troubles he gets himself into at the start of the book. Although the art communicates Coyote's vivid personality, the story is not as charming as some of McDermott's other trickster tales. There is less cleverness, humor, and buoyancy, and more antagonism, in this story. Coyote is a troublemaker, of course, but his antics often make readers laugh. Also, he seems less fully realized than some of the author's previous characters. Still, the book provides an introduction to an important folklore character and is strikingly illustrated. There are no notes on the story's source, but McDermott does provide a note on Coyote and refers to the people of the Pueblo of Zuni as excelling in telling Coyote tales.
Marilyn Iarusso, New York Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
I like it because when the Coyote meets some birds he wants to fly with, all the birds give him one of their right feathers, but he didn't balance. So they each gave him left feathers, but he still didn't balance. And the reason he didn't balance was because he needed one left feather and one right feather. - AMD, Age 7.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Review by 7 year old niece (posted as written):

Coyote gotted into lots of mischif just like me. He was blue like my ears. He liked how the crows chanted and danced and flew. He wanted to do this to. I would also. It looks like fun.

They were mean and teased him by making him think he could fly iffn they stucked feathers in him. He fell. He got covered in dust and was never blue again! Poor Coyote. His tale tip got burned so it is still black too!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Monica South on June 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Them that takes cakes
Which the Parsee-man bakes
Makes dreadful mistakes."

R. Kipling

As a child I learned many things from Mr Kipling about how to (and not to) behave in this world. I adored those tales and lessons.

A few months ago my son chose Coyote on an outing to the local bookstore. He and I thoroughly enjoyed learning vicariously through Coyote. In fact, Coyote quickly became his most requested book. Last week as we were driving we saw a beautiful coyote dodge across the road. "Doggie!" my son announced proudly. "Coyote!" I corrected. It took a minute to figure out the rest of the resulting monologue but I quickly gathered that my soon was thrilled to see that Coyote's tail was indeed burnt black as pitch from his fall.

Excellent graphics, clever story. 5 stars.
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
Being an admirer of Coyotes since my childhood in Kansas, and with my farmer-philosopher father noting their beneficial role in controlling jack rabbit populations, and loving their calls in the evening from three corners in my square-mile world--timberwolves managed the fourth corner--I simply have high regard for prairie coyotes slight-ness and voices. Accused of all sorts of mayhem, I suspect were not of their doing. No wonder the native Americans honored their survival skills amid their bigger brothers.
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest is a cleverly-told Native American myth. It is a refreshing change from the typical children's book and rich with an opportunity to teach some of the lessons of life which most children are bound to encounter as they grow. I would recommend it.
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By mom12 on March 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
always like reading McDermott stories. love the illustration and like the different types of stories that are told depending on the culture/geography. always a fun lesson in each
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By Shoedog on August 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I actually gave this away to a child in a reading program - it was great fun to read out loud and the illustrations are engaging.
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By Peregrine on July 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book to read to pre-schoolers. I introduce the story using my Coyote and Raven puppet by Folkmanis.
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