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Iktomi And The Coyote (Venture-Health & the Human Body) Hardcover – September 1, 1998
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-Sporting native clothes and flaunting copies of his previous books, Iktomi happens upon a group of prairie dogs playing a game that involves burying one another in hot ashes. To keep from burning, they sing a special song and when they can no longer bear the heat, they call their friends to pull them out. Iktomi convinces them to all play at the same time, promising to let them out when they get too hot. But in his typical fashion, he tricks the animals, releasing only a single pregnant prairie dog, ensuring future meals. While the rascal prepares to dine, a seemingly injured Coyote challenges him to a race. He quickly agrees and is easily outwitted, losing his ill-gotten feast. Goble's tale unfolds in the traditional call-and-response pattern of oral storytellers. Wonderfully designed pages with impeccably rendered ink-and-watercolor figures and varied typography lend a visual hand in the telling of this multilayered story. New and old cultural elements and plenty of humor are included, but Iktomi's comment about wishing he had brought along his "AK-47" is particularly jarring and the images of the cooked creatures are not for readers with weak stomachs. Still, kids will enjoy being in the know as they follow the humorous and inevitable downfall of this dubious hero.
Paula A. Kiely, Milwaukee Public Library, WI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Once again Iktomi is about walking along one day on his way to a school to read kids his books, which tell all about his brave deeds and great generosity. But when the prairie dogs start laughing at him, Iktomi decides that nothing would taste better than baked prairie dog. The problem, of course, is to catch them. The fact that the prairie dogs are taking turns being buried up to their necks in the hot ashes of their cooking fire does not dissuade Iktomi from creeping stealthily toward them. As was the case with the ducks the last time around, Iktomi actually seems to succeed in his plan. But then along comes Coyote, looking sick and starved, limping slowly and painfully along on three legs, and you know that things are going to go badly for the Trickster.
Younger children might be upset by the story and some of the illustrations in "Iktomi and the Coyote," because the cute little prairie dogs do not fare well. The sight of the baked prairie dogs in the stomach of the wily Coyote (come on, you knew that particular adjective was coming) might be a bit upsetting, so be forewarned. As with the other stories of Iktomi, Goble provides text in grey italics where readers and listeners can make up their own insults about Iktomi, while the Trickster's thoughts are printed in small type. However, you should ignore those when the story is read aloud and leave it to the young readers to discover when they come back and read this story on their own.