Monday, December 26, 2016

Non-Fiction Monday: Two Books about Coyotes!

Whilst scouting the shelves at my favorite public library a few weeks ago, I spied Hungry Coyote on display. I had recently read this with the kids from "Period Kahn" that I see every day so I skipped over it and looked some more. Two shelf tops over, I saw Coyote Moon and thought, "compare contrast!" So I grabbed it and Hungry Coyote and a few others and trotted back across the street to my own library. 

Hungry Coyote by Cheryl Blackford. Illustrated by Laurie Caple. unpgd. Minnesota Historical Society Press, May, 2015. 9780873519649. (Review from finished copy borrowed from public library)

My first glance at the yellow-eyed coyote made me think that I was looking at a photograph. My second, took in the city skyline. As I learned from Ann Downer's book Wild Animal Neighbors, it is not unusual for coyotes to live in urban areas. This book follows one coyote and his family throughout one year, beginning and ending in the winter. The paintings are luscious and detailed. The language is spare and rhythmic. Coyote doesn't always catch his prey, and sometimes his prey is snitched sausage from a summer picnic. Young readers understand his need to feed his growing family. A half-page of additional information concludes the volume. No additional resources are provided.

Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari. Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. unpgd. Roaring Brook Press, July, 2016. 9781626720411. (Review from finished copy borrowed from public library)

Wild Animal Neighbors and Hungry Coyote helped me appreciate the tenacity and adaptability of the coyote. Coyote Moon almost endeared me to them. This book follows a female out hunting for her family during a full-moon night. As in Hungry Coyote, the text is spare and evocative and absolutely wedded to the extraordinary illustrations. The ground-up perspective is unique and the lack of light forces the reader to lean in to peer closely in order to appreciate the incredible detail in each painting. My guys were constantly leaning in to touch the book. Just as they got used to the atmosphere, they jumped when the page turn revealed the pounce! 

This picture book can definitely be used for elementary report writing because the back matter is terrific. Suggestions for further reading and websites are also included. Make room in your collection for this one. It's a keeper.

The boys did a terrific job of comparing and contrasting these lovely volumes about coyotes.


  1. Thanks so much for featuring Coyote Moon here alongside Cheryl's book :)

    1. You're welcome! It's always a thrill when authors comment, thanks!