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The Coyote Under the Table

School Library Journal

In the title story, a dog makes friends with his former enemy, Coyote. Thinking that he is no longer useful, the canine is about to be put down by his masters. But Coyote has a plan for him to prove his worth, and the dog is later able to repay the favor. Some of these stories have visible roots in European folklore, but they are all distinctly Hispanic. In a version of "Puss in Boots," Gato Pinto, a spotted cat, saves a young man from the treachery of his jealous brothers. In another, a boy gets the power to turn into an ant, an eagle, and a lion, and uses his skills to rescue a fair maiden. Hayes has a perfect storyteller's voice, and the words flow on the page as though children were listening to the tale in person. The Spanish versions are equally readable and tellable. These tales are a gift to librarians and others who are looking for Latino folktales to share. The illustrator finds the most memorable moments in the stories and brings them to life with feeling. The action is delightful, as are the sometimes hilarious facial expressions. Hayes includes source notes about the provenance of these tales and the changes that he made in his retellings.—Tim Wadham, Children's Literature Consultant, Fenton, MO
- Tm Wadham, January 1, 2012 

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