cover image Coyote Goes Walking

Coyote Goes Walking

Tom Pohrt, Tracey Campbell Pearson. Farrar Straus Giroux, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-31628-0

Pohrt's (Crow and Weasel) folktale quartet presents Coyote--a figure from Native American oral traditions--in various impersonations. From the less-than-divine creator to the foiled trickster and mischievous bumbler, Coyote, shown here sporting a buffalo-hide cape--gives youngsters plenty to identify with. When curious Coyote gets his head stuck in an elk's skull inhabited by mice, they chew up his hair; he responds by calling the mice ``many bad names.'' When Coyote ambitiously attempts to imitate the woodpecker's method for gathering food--by donning a wooden beak--``he knocked himself out and fell to the ground.'' Though comprised of the simplest narrative elements, these brief stories serve up fast laughs and fodder for easy reflection. The warm, earth-toned watercolors eschew slapstick in favor of more subtle humor. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)