Coyote in Love With a Star

Coyote in Love With a Star

by Marty Kreipe De Montano, Tom Coffin
     
 

Created with the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Tales of the People is a series of children's books celebrating Native American culture with illustrations and stories by Indian artists and writers. In addition to the tales themselves, each book also offers four pages filled with information and photographs exploring various aspects of

Overview

Created with the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Tales of the People is a series of children's books celebrating Native American culture with illustrations and stories by Indian artists and writers. In addition to the tales themselves, each book also offers four pages filled with information and photographs exploring various aspects of Native culture, including a glossary of words in different Indian languages.

Editorial Reviews

Debbie Reese
Ol' Man Coyote lives on the Potawatomi reservation. He can't find a job, and has heard that there are lots of jobs in New York City. So, he loads "his cast-iron skillet, his bag of fry bread, and his Pendleton blanket into his VW van" and heads for the big city. Decked out in a suit and wing-tipped shoes, Coyote lands a job working as a Rodent Control Officer in the World Trade Center. From the observation deck, he gazes at the stars and, having fallen for an especially beautiful one, howls his love at her. She eventually takes notice and pulls him into the sky, where they dance until he becomes chilled at her silence and the coldness of the night sky. She drops him, and Coyote lands in Central Park. The depression his body makes is the Reservoir; and "now, whenever you hear coyotes howling at the night sky, you know they're scolding the star that dropped their grandfather." The book is sprinkled with references to Native culture and reflects a blending of traditional and modern Native lifestyles. Coffin's rich paintings capture the hustle and bustle of the city and the deep hues of a night sky; throughout, they effectively convey the antics of Coyote as he pauses to listen to the rumble of the subway (it sounds like a herd of buffalo) or falls to earth with outflung limbs. The final pages include a note about the oral tradition in Native culture and the place of the trickster figure (though only brief information about the origin of this particular tale is given). Also included is a glossary and information about the Potawatomi tribe, to which the author and illustrator both belong. -- Horn Book Magazine
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
In this very up to date and unique version of a Native American coyote folktale, a humorously anthropomorphic coyote is tired of being unemployed on his Potawatomi reservation. He sets out for New York City, figuring that "with his skills he could easily get a job." It turns out that he is right and gets a job as Rodent Control Officer at the World Trade Center, where gazing at the night sky from the observation deck, he falls in love with a big, beautiful star. The tragic-comic ending to this affair explains how the Reservoir in Central Park was formed and why coyotes howl at the night sky. Part of the "Tales of the People" picture book series, several pages at the end present information on Coyote the Trickster, the Potawatomi and a glossary. Both the author and illustrator are members of the Potawatomi Tribe.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2--Coyote is a trickster character found in the stories of many Native American peoples. In this tale, he leaves his home on a Potawatomi reservation on the Plains to find work in New York City. Once there, he falls in love with a star and leaves the Earth to dance with her. When he asks to return, she drops him. He lands in Central Park, making a big hole (the Reservoir), and his descendants howl at the night sky to scold her. The story is related in a natural storytelling voice. Although it is set in the modern-day city, the author retains Coyote's traditional characteristics, adding a nice touch and exhibiting an ability to combine older customs with present-day life. The colorful drawings have a childlike quality; they reinforce the humor of the tale and the sense of place. The book concludes with several pages (including the back endpapers) of photographs and information and notes on trickster characters. However, while the section describing the Potawatomi people is interesting, it is very brief and several of the archival photographs do not seem to have a direct connection to this particular book. An additional pourquoi tale.--Darcy Schild, Schwegler Elementary School, Lawrence, KS

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780789201621
Publisher:
Abbeville Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/1998
Series:
Tales of the People Series
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
30
Sales rank:
839,460
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 9.60(h) x (d)
Lexile:
640L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Marty Kreipe de Montaño is manager of the Resource Center of the George Gustav Heye Center, NMAIs Manhattan branch. A member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi from Kansas, she has an M.A. in Ethnohistory of North American Indians from the University of Kansas. Ms. de Montaño, who lives in New York City, is co-author of The Native American Almanac, selected by Choice magazine as one of the Outstanding Academic Books for 1995.

Tom Coffin, who lives in Phoenix, has an extensive background in painting, sculpture, and architectural restoration. A Kansas native and member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi and Creek tribes, Mr. Coffin received a B.F.A. degree in painting and sculpture from the Kansas City Art Institute.

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