Written by Thomas King
Illustrated by 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.
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, National Post, O, The Oprah Magazine, the Walrus and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
"A nice complement to other Coyote tales." Kirkus Reviews
"King’s witty and inventive story lines coupled with Eggenschwiler’s funny pen-and-ink illustrations will spark readers’ imaginations." International Literacy Association