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The Coyote Under the Table

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Veteran storyteller Hayes follows up his notable collection The Day It Snowed Tortillas with another set of ten stories drawn from the New Mexican Hispanic tradition. Young readers might recognize a few familiar tales, including regional variations of “Cinderella” and “Puss in Boots,” while the lesser-known stories operate in a familiar folkloric fashion, introducing heroes and heroines, tricksters and villains, magical transformations, and ending ultimately in happily ever after (for the most part). Humor plays a big part here, and many of the bad guys meet their fate in rather comedic ways: the three annoyingly persistent suitors in “Caught on a Nail,” for instance, are nearly scared out of their pants (literally) by a clever heroine, while a young boy obtains the means to make his greedy, lazy master dance for his supper in “The Man Who Couldn’t Stop Dancing.” Each story is told in English and Spanish (with the two translations on facing pages) and accompanied by a single, black and white tableau, usually depicting the climactic scene; the softly detailed art has an intricacy and drama unusual in non-picturebook illustration. Source notes are included for each tale, making this an excellent resource for storytellers as well as a delightful addition to the 398.2s.
- May 1, 2012 

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