Iktomi and the Coyote: A Plains Indian Story

Overview

The prairie dogs think they have a friend in Iktomi. Ikto, however, has other ideas. When his ego leads him to make a winner-takes-all bet with Coyote, Iktomi soon discovers that he is not the only one with a trick or two up his sleeve.

After tricking some prairie dogs into becoming his dinner, Iktomi is himself outwitted by Coyote. Asides and questions printed in italics may be addressed by the storyteller to listeners, encouraging...

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Overview

The prairie dogs think they have a friend in Iktomi. Ikto, however, has other ideas. When his ego leads him to make a winner-takes-all bet with Coyote, Iktomi soon discovers that he is not the only one with a trick or two up his sleeve.

After tricking some prairie dogs into becoming his dinner, Iktomi is himself outwitted by Coyote. Asides and questions printed in italics may be addressed by the storyteller to listeners, encouraging them to make their own remarks about the action.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
In this addition to Goble's series of picture books based on Plains Indian folktales, Iktomi the trickster is once again tricked himself when he fools some prairie dogs, but is tricked out of his prairie dog feast by the clever coyote. Bright watercolors bring out the humor and irony of the story. Goble uses type in two different colors to suggest questions or comments that the reader/storyteller might wish to share with the audience. Smaller type represents Iktomi's often-humorous remarks. An author's note is included.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Sporting native clothes and flaunting copies of his previous books, Iktomi happens upon a group of prairie dogs playing a game that involves burying one another in hot ashes. To keep from burning, they sing a special song and when they can no longer bear the heat, they call their friends to pull them out. Iktomi convinces them to all play at the same time, promising to let them out when they get too hot. But in his typical fashion, he tricks the animals, releasing only a single pregnant prairie dog, ensuring future meals. While the rascal prepares to dine, a seemingly injured Coyote challenges him to a race. He quickly agrees and is easily outwitted, losing his ill-gotten feast. Goble's tale unfolds in the traditional call-and-response pattern of oral storytellers. Wonderfully designed pages with impeccably rendered ink-and-watercolor figures and varied typography lend a visual hand in the telling of this multilayered story. New and old cultural elements and plenty of humor are included, but Iktomi's comment about wishing he had brought along his "AK-47" is particularly jarring and the images of the cooked creatures are not for readers with weak stomachs. Still, kids will enjoy being in the know as they follow the humorous and inevitable downfall of this dubious hero.-Paula A. Kiely, Milwaukee Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Iktomi (Iktomi and the Buzzard, 1994, etc.), with a buzz cut and full ceremonial dress, is up to his antics again, which this time involve tricking prairie dogs to settle down in hot coals so he can gobble them up for dinner. Goble, who apparently finds in Iktomi his own personal nemesis, integrates traditional folklore with contemporary references, and shows the trickster toting some of Goble's previous books around. Similar in plot to Iktomi and the Ducks (1990, not reviewed), Ikto convinces prairie dogs to cook themselves by playing a game in the coals. Only one of them escapes while the others become a succulent treat (the grilled corpses are stylized but unmistakable); the scent of grilled meat attracts Coyote. Cunningly, the four-legged trickster outsmarts the two-legged one and Iktomi goes away hungry, dreaming of cheeseburgers and fries. Goble's illustrations shine, while the endless interruptions of the main story with narrator asides, as well as with the comments of Iktomi and others, return the story to its oral roots. (Picture book/folklore. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531331088
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.09 (w) x 11.08 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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