cover image Borreguita and the Coyote: Reading Rainbow Book

Borreguita and the Coyote: Reading Rainbow Book

Verna Aardema. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17 (34pp) ISBN 978-0-679-80921-0

The growing interest in multicultural themes, combined with the seemingly endless supply of folktales from all corners of the world, is a boon for readers, as many of these stories are translated and presented in picture-book form. This classic trickster tale from Ayutla, Mexico, pits a gullible coyote against a fetchingly fluffy lamb. The fluff is deceiving, however--resourceful Borreguita has nerves of steel and gleefully outmaneuvers the hungry coyote at every turn. Mathers ( Sophie and Lou ; The Block Book ), one of the reigning queens of quirkiness, injects Aardema's ( Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears ; Traveling to Tondo ) fluid, humorous text with her own deliciously skewed point of view, starting with the slyly subversive endpapers (complete with bogus hieroglyphs) that constitute a sparkling sendup of Southwestern art and ending with the final image of the defeated coyote literally slinking off the page. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)