cover image Coyote Christmas: A Lakota Story

Coyote Christmas: A Lakota Story

S. D. Nelson, . . Abrams, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-8109-9367-9

Magic abounds on the trail of Coyote, a trickster set on scoring some tasty Christmas grub in this confusing original folktale inspired by Lakota Sioux legend and set on an Indian reservation. Coyote hatches his grandest ruse ever: he disguises himself as Santa and lands an invitation to a kindly clan's Christmas Eve dinner. But the joke's on Coyote when his scheme is upstaged by some meddling by Sister Raven (and, perhaps, by the spirit of Christmas itself). Readers will be just as surprised as Coyote: What exactly is going on when the family opens their gifts from a Santa not even Coyote knows and they find delightful objects for everyone—except an empty box for wheelchair-bound young Davy? (He has regained the use of his legs.) The tale ends on an oddly sour note, not much relieved by the zesty North Dakota snowscapes throughout. Ages 5-9. (Dec.)