About this book
Thomas King • Byron Eggenschwiler
Two tales, set in a time “when animals and human beings still talked to each other,” display Thomas King’s cheeky humor and master storytelling skills. Freshly illustrated and reissued as an early chapter book, these stories are perfect for newly independent readers.
In Coyote Sings to the Moon, Coyote is at first the cause of misfortune. In those days, when the moon was much brighter and closer to the earth, Old Woman and the animals would sing to her each night. Coyote attempts to join them, but his voice is so terrible they beg him to stop. He is crushed and lashes out — who needs Moon anyway? Furious, Moon dives into a pond, plunging the world into darkness. But clever Old Woman comes up with a plan to send Moon back up into the sky and, thanks to Coyote, there she stays.
In Coyote’s New Suit, mischievous Raven wreaks havoc when she suggests that Coyote’s toasty brown suit is not the finest in the forest, thus prompting him to steal suits belonging to all the other animals. Meanwhile, Raven tells the other animals to borrow clothes from the humans’ camp. When Coyote finds that his closet is too full, Raven slyly suggests he hold a yard sale, then sends the human beings (in their underwear) and the animals (in their ill-fitting human clothes) along for the fun. A hilarious illustration of the consequences of wanting more than we need.
Excerpt from Coyote Sings to the Moon:
One evening, Coyote hears Old Woman and the animals singing to the moon.
“Pardon me,” says Coyote, smiling his Coyote smile. “Exactly what are you doing?”
“We’re singing to the moon,” says Old Woman.
“Well,” says Coyote, taking out his comb and brushing his coat, checking his teeth with his tongue, and wiping his nose on his arm. “What you need is a good tenor.”
“No! No!” shout all the animals. “You have a terrible singing voice!”
“Yes,” says Old Woman. “Your voice could scare Moon away.”
“Hummph,” says Coyote, whose feelings are hurt. “Why would anyone want to sing to Moon, anyway?”
Excerpt from Coyote’s New Suit:
Just then Bear came out of the woods, all hot and sweaty. She took off her bear suit, folded it up neatly and left it on a large, flat rock.
“Wheeeeeee!” she shouted as she hopped into the pond. She waved her arms and kicked her legs and splashed water all over the place.
“Now that’s a suit,” said Raven, eyeing Bear’s suit as it lay on the rock. “I don’t believe I’ve seen a suit like that in my entire life.” And she flew away.
But she didn’t go far.
“Hummmph!” grumped Coyote. “What does Raven know about fashion?”
But he had to admit that Bear’s suit did look substantial. When no one was looking, he tiptoed over and held the suit up to the light, rubbing his nose in the thick fur.
“It’s not as classy as my suit, but it certainly is impressive.”
Then Coyote had an idea. It wasn’t a good idea, but then most of Coyote’s ideas weren’t.
About the Creators
Thomas King has written several highly acclaimed children’s books. A Coyote Solstice Tale, illustrated by Gary Clement, won the American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award for Best Picture Book and A Coyote Columbus Story, illustrated by William Kent Monkman, was a Governor General’s Award finalist.King, who is of Cherokee and Greek descent, was a Professor of English at the University of Guelph for many years, where he taught Native Literature and Creative Writing. He recently won the Governor General’s Award for his adult novel, The Back of the Turtle, and he has been nominated for the Commonwealth Writers Prize.
Byron Eggenschwiler is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design. He is an award-winning illustrator whose many clients include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, GQ, the National Post, O, The Oprah Magazine, the Walrus and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. He has also illustrated Coyote Tales by Thomas King. He lives in Calgary.
Awards and Praise
Coyote Sings to the Moon by Thomas King, illustrated by Johnny Wales (Key Porter, 1998):
“A brilliant book. King’s Coyote is part traditional trickster and part 1950s greaser …”—Quill & Quire, starred review
A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King, illustrated by Gary Clement (Groundwood, 2009):
American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Awards, Best Picture Book.
“The humor is dry and affectionate, the rhyming text delights with sly turns of phrase, the watercolor cartoons are whimsical...[A] holiday treat...” —School Library Journal
A Coyote Columbus Story by Thomas King, illustrated by William Kent Monkman (Groundwood, 2007):
A Governor General’s Award Finalist
“This is an entertaining story, great fun to read aloud because the language is crisp, colloquial, and very expressive. It is also extremely thought-provoking.” —Quill & Quire, starred review
“..very funny, provocative, and offers a unique and absolutely engaging point of view.” —Toronto Star
“...what Coyote captures...is the spirit of cheekiness, a bold, outrageous iconoclastic energy that incorporates warmth and inclusiveness.” —Horn Book