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Myths, History, Nursery Rhymes, Fantasy & Facts

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Books and Stories - Coyotes - Children to YA
SOS: Searching Out Stories/Info about Coyotes
Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers,
Teachers and Librarians



Book titles are in blue and underlined. Click on them to find out more about the books and how to buy them.
To retell any stories, obtain permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
In performance, always credit your sources.
Alphabetized for your convenience with short descriptions to save you research time.

Blue Coyote by Liza Ketchum, Stanley Fellows. (2004 - Ages 9-12)
High-school junior Alex Beekman denies to himself that he is gay. His family has recently moved from Los Angeles to Vermont. He is bullied at school and jeeringly called fag. He longs for his best friend in the world, Tito Perone, but Tito has left his home in L.A. and disappeared. When Alex returns to L.A., he discovers that Tito is gay, that his father beat him up, and that he is living with a lover. Alex finds work in a tattoo parlor, and he discovers that he, too, is gay and that he has always been in love with Tito.

Coyote and the Grasshoppers: A Pomo Legend (Native American Legends) by Dominic. (1998 - Ages 9-12)
How can brave Coyote save the people from a drought and a plague of grasshoppers?
The Legends of the World opens readers' minds to the diverse cultures of Native America, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and the Americas through enchanting tales passed down through countless generations. Each book in the series features geographical, historical, and cultural information. Illustrated in full color.

Coyote and the Sky: How the Sun, Moon, and Stars Began by Emmett Garcia, Victoria Pringle. (2006 - Ages 9-12)
According to Santa Ana Pueblo legend, the animals' spirit Leader created the sun, moon, and stars by using woven yucca mats and hot coals. He selected certain animals to climb from their homes in the Third World up to the Fourth World. The Squirrel, the Rabbit, and the Badger were all allowed to go. The Coyote, however, was forbidden to accompany them because he was always causing trouble and stealing food from the others.

Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest by Gerald McDermott. (1999 - Ages 4-8)
Wherever Coyote goes you can be sure he’ll find trouble. Now he wants to sing, dance, and fly like the crows, so he begs them to teach him how. The crows agree but soon tire of Coyote’s bragging and boasting. They decide to teach the great trickster a lesson. This time, Coyote has found real trouble!

Coyote Autumn by Bill Wallace. (2002 - Ages 9-12)
Brad has always wanted a dog, so when he catches a little coyote, he decides to keep it. He couldn't have a dog when his family lived in a Chicago apartment, but now that they've moved to rural Oklahoma anything seems possible. Even rescuing an orphaned coyote pup...and keeping it a secret from his parents. With his friend Nolan's help, Brad is determined to tame Scooter, train him, play with him, and hide him in an old dog pen behind the barn. It almost works...

Coyote in Love With a Star: Tales of the People by Marty Kreipe Montano. (1998 - Ages 4-8)
This tale of a young girl's first Butterfly Dance captures the spirit of Hopi culture. It chronicles one important day seen through the eyes of a young Hopi girl named Sihumana, or "Flower Maiden," who is a member of the Rabbit Clan and winningly portrayed as a rabbit. After going with her grandfather to greet the sun and bless the day, Sihumana travels with her family to another village to take part in the traditional Butterfly Dance.

Coyote Steals the Blanket: A Ute Tale (Ute Tales) by Janet Stevens. (1994 - Ages 4-8)
When Coyote swipes a blanket, thus angering the spirit of the desert, he is pursued by a rock on a rampage. This traditional trickster tale features a scraggly, scruffy yet lovable character, a narrative that will roll right off storytellers' tongues, and hilarious pictures of boastful animals trying to halt the furious boulder.

Coyote Stories by Mourning Dove. (1990)
Coyote is shown in this book at his best and his worst with special powers to summon help for people when needed. He is earthy and greedy, and filled with gluttony and lust. As a precaution, Coyote is given a kinsman to deter him, a Fox, who is able to restore life. Mourning Dove (Hu-mis-hu-ma) leaves behind the stories she heard around many a cold evening or near a council fire. She was a member of the Colville Reservation of north central Washington.

Coyote Stories for Children: Tales from Native America by Susan Strauss, Gary Lund. (1991 - Ages 9-12)
This collection of four Native American stories joins a growing body of retellings of the exploits of this clever but exasperating trickster. Both wise and foolish, this mythic figure is presented in a fast-flowing, read-aloud style. Coyote gets his creative powers in a story from the Okanogan people of the Great Basin. There is also a brief introduction explaining who Coyote is and the Native conception of storytelling. Ideally suited for story hours and reading aloud.

Coyote's in the House (A) by Elmore Leonard. (2007 - Kindle edition)
Anthropomorphism in fiction and film is often derided as a cheap trick, and rightfully so. But not when Elmore Leonard is writing the dialogue. Leonard's first children's book begins with a beguiling premise: hip coyote Antwan, leader of his pack in the Hollywood Hills, is foraging for garbage when he makes the acquaintance of German shepherd Buddy, a retired film star. Buddy is bored and has decided he'd like the freedom of the coyote's life in the wild, while Antwan, who quickly develops a taste for peanut-butter cookies, is interested in getting to know Miss Betty, a prizewinning poodle who lives with Buddy's family.

Josefina Javelina: A Hairy Tale by Susan Lowell, Bruce W. MacPherson. (2005 - Ages 4-8)
"Ah, to be famous! My name in lights! My hooves on point! My fur in tights!" Josefina Javelina longs to be a ballerina. So...she packs up her concertina and leaves her favorite little cantina to go to Pasadena to visit her cousin Angelina. From the desert to the city, a wild adventure ensues as Josefina puts some dip in her hip and some slide in her glide on her way to the big time-a long, long way from home. Not even Coyote can get this javelina down.

Navajo Coyote Tales by Hildegard Thompson, William Morgan. (1989 - Ages 4-8)
Coyote encounters Rabbit, Fawn's Stars, Crow, Snake, Skunk Woman, and Horned Toad in these 6 delightful, English-language adaptations of traditional Navajo Coyote stories collected by anthropologist William Morgan and translated by him and linguist Robert W. Young.

Old Coyote by Nancy Wood, Max Grafe. (2008 - Ages 4-8)
Old Coyote's muzzle is turning white, and his steps are slow. He spends most of his time basking in the sun and remembering. Chasing rabbits, raising pups with Mrs. Coyote, gathering with his friends on the mountain and howling at the moon — it's been a long, full life, and he's grateful for it. But could it be time for him to take one last journey?

There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea by Jennifer Ward, Steve Gray. (2006 - Ages 4-8)
This book blends the vibrant, cartoony art of Steve Gray and singsong rhythm to create a rollicking funny tale. "He swallowed the cactus to go with the chile. / He swallowed the chile to season the bird. / He swallowed the bird to catch the snake. / He swallowed the snake to catch the lizard. / He swallowed the lizard to catch the flea, / Plucked from his knee, that tickly flea. / Yippe-o-ki-yee?"

Three Little Javelinas (The) (Reading Rainbow Book) by Susan Lowell, Jim Harris. (2009 - Ages 9-12)
In this retelling of The Three Little Pigs set in the American Southwest, the cherished porkers are transformed into javelinas, the hairy, swinelike creatures also known as peccaries. Their pursuer, no longer the wolf of traditional lore, becomes Coyote, that ubiquitous Southwestern trickster. In her first book for children, Lowell spices the story with elements of Native American, Mexican and Old West culture.

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Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers, Teachers and Librarians

(excerpts from Storytell posts plus original research)

Book titles and online links are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more information.
Story and song titles are in italics.
To retell any stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the materials is not in the public domain.
In performance, always credit your sources.
Posts are added chronologically as they are received by Story Lovers World.

1) Check Thomas Doty's website:

2) This is a useful link to Native American information. This page focuses on coyote stories (and poems). I haven't looked into it and can't say what the age levels are, but you could slant them to a younger audience.
Charles K. 4/27/07

Coyote stories are great! See if you can find:

Coyote Places the Stars (Aladdin Picture Books) by Harriet Taylor.
• Margaret MacDonald has coyote tales in one of her storytelling start up books - Coyote's Crying Song.
Borreguita and the Coyote (Reading Rainbow Books) by Verna Aardema is great- the children can do the coyote howl.
• Gretchen Will Mayo has great books out- and they may have Coyote tales in them.
That Tricky Coyote! (Native American Trickster Tales)
Claudia R. 4/27/07

I will tell Coyote Steals Fire because it has lots of animals in it and I'll make a red baloon with red and yellow ribbons as "fire" - kids can play the animals and pass it along:) As for the other stories, I'm still not sure.
Macsek 4/27/07

Created 2002; last update 7/18/09

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