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The Coyote Under the Table


Once again Hayes intrigues and amuses with this charming compilation of 10 classic tales from the Latino communities of northern New Mexico. The collection—which has the most in common with Hayes’ picture book A Spoon for Every Bite (1996)—expresses the magical realism of many Latino traditional tales and the vibrancy of protagonists within the oral tradition. Like in The Day It Snowed Tortillas (1995), Hayes retells in both Spanish and English, capturing the authenticity of characters such as el perro viejo and el coyote, who enjoy pozole and tortillas under a family dinner table. Another tale features Gato Pinto, a guardian cat who loyally aids his owner, Juan Cenizas, in outwitting his greedy brothers. Each of the tales, structured as individual chapters, opens with a beautiful full-page pencil sketch by Castro. With Hayes’ talent to entertain, each chapter can stand on its own as an intermediate elementary classroom readaloud or as a vehicle through which to study Latino folklore.
- Angie Zapata, February 1, 2012 

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