Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest

by Gerald McDermott

Hardcover, 1994

Call number



Harcourt Children's Books (1994), Edition: 1st, 32 pages


Coyote, who has a nose for trouble, insists that the crows teach him how to fly, but the experience ends in disaster for him.

User reviews

LibraryThing member sdglenn
Great for grades k-5. A coyote tries to fly. We could draw a picture of a coyote and use construction paper to add wings to him.
LibraryThing member cshaw
Coyote, who is always getting himself into trouble, insists that the crows teach him how to fly, but his attempt ends in defeat. This is a wonderfully illustrated tale with fantastic pictures of Coyote and the Crows. There is a lot of tension within the story as the reader wants Coyote to succeed,
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but then he becomes rude and boastful and the Crows are powerful. I really liked this book!
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LibraryThing member netaylor
In this book Coyote, “blue coyote,” is following his nose and looking for adventure in the red canyon lands of the southwest. He sticks his nose into trouble again and again. He follows his nose and finds a flock of crows dancing and chanting on the red mesa where the earth meets the sky.
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Coyote wants to join Old Man Crow and the flock. He wants to dance and chant and fly like the crows. Old Man Crow and the flock are humored by Coyote’s naïve and egotistical assumption that he could possibly be like them. The flock of crows decides to play a trick on Coyote and to teach him a lesson. Coyote is unaware of the trouble he is about to find.
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LibraryThing member korneder
coyote wants to be a colorful bird who can fly and tries his best, but in the end he can't fly and remains the color of dust.
LibraryThing member edtech5
Mcdermott, G., (1995). Coyote. San Diego: Libros Viajeros/Harcourt Brace.
The motif of the book is a trickster. The story is about a coyote who always gets into trouble and ends up getting tricked by a group of crows. The origin of the book is Southwest Native Americans. In folktales, a coyote is
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usually considered the trickster, but in this story, the coyote is the one who gets tricked.
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LibraryThing member IEliasson
Gerold McDermott’s adaptation of Zuni trickster tale is an spirited romp into Native American folklore. Coyote has “a nose for trouble” and quickly gets into it when he asks the crows to teach him how to fly. His pride and boastfulness get him into further trouble with the Crows, who remove
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Coyote’s borrowed feathers and cause him to fall into a pool on the mesa. His tail catches fire and he falls, tumbling in the dirt, causing this blue coyote to become “the color of dust” with a tail that, “has a burnt, black tip.” McDermott’s animated illustrations are drawn in the hues and style of the Southwest and transmit the farcical humor with a healthy dose of slapstick. Coyote is superb selection for read-alouds that will keep even the youngest listeners held spellbound.
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LibraryThing member petrong
I enjoyed the jagged-edged and geometric style of the artwork. Interesting telling of how the coyote looks like it does today.
LibraryThing member megjwal
Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest by Gerald McDermott
This traditional tale is about why the coyote is the color he is today. Coyote has a nose for trouble. He looks for desert creatures that are not friendly. He has the idea he could be a great coyote if he could fly. The crows
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allow him to fly, but then coyote decided to be prideful and boastful. What will the crows do to this prideful coyote?
I think this a great story about pride going before fall. So many students want to succeed, but they sometimes forget who they might step on along the way. I think it is okay to be proud of your successes, but not shove it in someone else’s face.
I would use this book with Pre-K to 2nd grade students. I would use this book with a genre of folk tales. I would compare and contrast with other folk tales. For the Pre-K through Kindergarten, I would use a Venn Diagram comparing two. For the older students I would compare several stories using a chart.
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LibraryThing member Phoenix333
Review by 7 year old niece (posted as written):

Coyote gotted into lots of mischif just like me. He was blue like my ears. He liked how the crows chanted and danced and flew. He wanted to do this to. I would also. It looks like fun.

They were mean and teased him by making him think he could fly iffn
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they stucked feathers in him. He fell. He got covered in dust and was never blue again! Poor Coyote. His tale tip got burned so it is still black too!
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LibraryThing member Chandra672
This is a great book to use with students as the pictures are vivid and the storyline is quite funny. It is also good to show how Native Americans use stories to tell why animals have certain characteristics.
LibraryThing member fatlamb
The book does mention that coyote stories are the most widely known and most often told trickster tales of Native American tradition. The story is very short and with a rhythmic flow, one that younger children will be able to read and follow. Plot is simple, in this story the coyote is blue and
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with his nose always gets into trouble. He finds some crows and wants to learn how to fly. The crows entertain themselves and have fun with the trickster. The story tells us how and why coyotes are not blue anymore but dust color and the tail has a burnt black tip. A theme I get from this is don't be rude and boastful. I like this story cause the trickster the coyote gets the hard end of the stick, the tables have turned on him here. The illustrations are bright and I do believe there is a strong southwestern feel to it.
Ages 5-7
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LibraryThing member jtabb0709
This a good story to explain the Native American tales and how they tell stories about animals how they get their characteristics. This story is about why the wolf looks the way he does. He wants to learn to fly so he hangs out with the crows. In the end he has a different color fur and nose.
LibraryThing member MGraysonk12
Trickster Tale from the American Southwest
LibraryThing member CourtneyZeggert
The illustrations in this book are so vivid and very reflective of the native american culture that the story is derived from. The Coyote in this story is a trickster and he is also very boastful. he wants to learn how to fly, so he gets the crows to 'teach' him. He doesn't realize that they are
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going to teach him a lesson in the process. It is supposed to teach children that they need to stay away from trouble.
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LibraryThing member kamijake
Coyote is a trickster that always finds trouble. He finally finds some crows that let him join them but he soon becomes boastful and learns his lesson. The book is a good way to introduce kids to the tales that explain nature in some way.
LibraryThing member NMiller22
A story of Coyote, the Native American trickster, brought to life and inspired by Zuni folklore and southwestern design.




0152207244 / 9780152207243


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