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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.
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 the Hardcover edition.