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The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote

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About the Author

Tony Johnston is the award-winning author of more than 100 beloved children's books. Throughout her career, she has worked at a children's bookstore, taught a course on picture book writing at UCLA, and studied poetry writing for children with Myra Cohn Livingston. Johnston lives with her family in San Marino, California, where she grew up. Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934, to a family of Irish and Italian background. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his "continued distinguished contribution," and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration, and received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for lifetime contribution to children's literature in 2011. DePaola has published almost 200 children's books in 15 different countries over the past 30 years. Among his most well-known titles are the Strega Nona series, 26 Fairmount Avenue, and The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush. DePaola lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.


K-Gr 4-An engaging retelling of an Oaxacan trickster/pourquoi tale that combines story elements from Brer Rabbit, the legend of Coyote swallowing the moon, and the rabbit in the moon. Rabbit's tricks escalate to a final comical episode in which he scampers up to the moon, hides the ladder, and leaves Coyote howling in frustration below. Creating a distinctly Mexican look, the book features bordered folk-art paintings positioned on a variety of vibrantly hued pages. dePaola uses colors freely, along with primitive design elements that include snippets of hand-lettered Spanish dialogue. (Readers who can't decipher their meaning can check the end of the story for translations and pronunciations). A picture-book folktale that is at once familiar and funny, yet different and distinctive.-Lee Bock, Brown County Public Libraries, Green Bay, WI

The folklore of Mexico inspires this impressive collaboration by the talented creators of The Badger and the Magic Fan and Pages of Music . After clever Rabbit sneaks into a field one evening and feasts on the biggest chiles, the farmer sets up a beeswax ``farmer'' to trap the thief. When this imposter refuses to talk the next night, Rabbit (not so cleverly) punches it repeatedly, until his paws and feet are stuck in the wax. Thrilled with his catch, the real farmer throws the rabbit in a sack and plans to cook him. But the wily lapin convinces Coyote to take his place: ``This man wants me to marry his daughter . . . but I'm too young. Why don't you take my place?'' It is the first of many ruses the gullible Coyote falls for--with uproarious results--throughout the tale, which ultimately explains why coyotes howl at the moon. Spanish expressions worked into the pictures are translated in a glossary. A good part of the humor of this pungent Zapotec legend is delivered through dePaola's droll folk art, resplendent with the bronzed and dazzling hues of the Southwest. Both the palette and the patterns used here represent a departure for the artist, who outdoes himself in this fetching book. Ages 4-8. (May)

"Humorous . . . This zesty collaboration is sure to be popular." --Booklist, starred review "Johnston's adaptation of the action-packed tale is succinct and colorful; dePaola's deceptively childlike illustrations mark a breathtaking departure from his familiar style. . . A book that's sure to appeal." --Kirkus Reviews, pointer review "An impressive collaboration. . . The artist outdoes himself in this fetching book." --Publishers Weekly "An engaging retelling . . . Familiar and funny, yet different and distinctive." --School Library Journal

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