Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale

Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale

by Duncan Tonatiuh
     
 

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 In this allegorical picture book, a young rabbit named Pancho eagerly awaits his papa’s return. Papa Rabbit traveled north two years ago to find work in the great carrot and lettuce fields to earn money for his family. When Papa does not return, Pancho sets out to find him. He packs Papa’s favorite meal—mole, rice and beans, a heap of warm… See more details below

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Overview


 In this allegorical picture book, a young rabbit named Pancho eagerly awaits his papa’s return. Papa Rabbit traveled north two years ago to find work in the great carrot and lettuce fields to earn money for his family. When Papa does not return, Pancho sets out to find him. He packs Papa’s favorite meal—mole, rice and beans, a heap of warm tortillas, and a jug of aguamiel—and heads north. He meets a coyote, who offers to help Pancho in exchange for some of Papa’s food. They travel together until the food is gone and the coyote decides he is still hungry . . . for Pancho!
Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the hardship and struggles faced by thousands of families who seek to make better lives for themselves and their children by illegally crossing the border.

Praise for Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote
STARRED REVIEWS
"Tonatiuh’s great strength is in the text. No word is wasted, as each emotion is clearly and poignantly expressed. The rabbits’ future is unknown, but their love and faith in each other sustains them through it all. Accessible for young readers, who may be drawn to it as they would a classic fable; perfect for mature readers and the classroom, where its layers of truth and meaning can be peeled back to be examined and discussed. An incandescent, humane and terribly necessary addition to the immigrant-story shelf."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"In both prose and art, Tonatiuh expertly balances folkloric elements with stark, modern realities; Pancho Rabbit’s trip has the feel of a classic fable or fairy tale, with the untrustworthy coyote demanding more and more of him."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The book shows the fragility of making a living, the desperation that many migrants experience, and the deep family ties that bind the characters. Classrooms studying the migrant experience will find plenty to discuss here."
School Library Journal

“This will spark strong responses and needed discussion.”
Booklist

"Tonatiuh is so careful in weaving his allegory that his empathetic contemporary tale feels like age-old folklore, with simple but compelling text and a step-by-step escalation of the story through gripping, kid-understandable challenges."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Awards
Pura Belpré Author and Illustrator Honor book 2014
New York Public Library’s annual Children’s Books list: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2013
Kirkus Best Books of 2013
Best Multicultural Children's Books 2013 (Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature)
Notable Children's Books from ALSC 2014
Notable Books for a Global Society Book Award 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Tonatiuh (Diego Rivera: His World and Ours) uses an animal cast to create a valuable portrait of the often-perilous journeys of migrant Mexicans who seek work in the U.S. to support their families. It is time for Papá Rabbit to return home from working in “El Norte,” and his family prepares a celebratory fiesta, but he fails to arrive. When Pancho goes in search of his father, he meets a coyote who agrees to guide him north. In both prose and art, Tonatiuh expertly balances folkloric elements with stark, modern realities; Pancho Rabbit’s trip has the feel of a classic fable or fairy tale, with the untrustworthy coyote demanding more and more of him. As in Tonatiuh’s previous books, his illustrations draw from ancient Mexican art, but he also incorporates photographic textures, from denim jeans to the zipper on Pancho’s mochila (backpack), emphasizing the connection between past and present. An extensive author’s note offers a useful springboard for adult-child discussion as Tonatiuh delineates the dangers undocumented immigrants face. The story’s bittersweet, even ominous, ending reminds readers that there are no easy solutions. Ages 6�9. (May)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—When Papá Rabbit does not return from the lettuce and carrot fields of El Norte, Pancho Rabbit sneaks off in the night to search for him. He runs into Señor Coyote, who offers to help, but demands that Pancho give him the food he is carrying. When the mole, beans, and tortillas are gone, and they have finally crossed the big wall, Coyote is about to eat Pancho when Papá and his friends come to his rescue. Animals stand in for people in this morality play about immigration, allowing readers to see the migrant's side of the story. Children will learn a bit about Mexican culture from the hand-drawn and digitally collaged folk-art-inspired illustrations depicted in warm desert colors as well as from the author's note. The stylized, flat illustrations put the story in context and set the mood. The book shows the fragility of making a living, the desperation that many migrants experience, and the deep family ties that bind the characters. Classrooms studying the migrant experience will find plenty to discuss here.—Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
A brilliant modern fable—eloquent, hopeful and heart-rending—about a rabbit family whose members cross the border in search of a better life, and each other. Drought forces Papá Rabbit to leave for the great carrot and lettuce fields of the north, hoping to make money for his family. Years pass, but when he doesn't arrive home on the appointed day, his eldest son, Pancho Rabbit, sets out to find him. Heading north, he meets a coyote who promises a shortcut in return for food. At each step of their treacherous journey, the coyote demands more food in exchange for Pancho's safe passage. The food finally all gone, Pancho is about to be consumed when Papá Rabbit rescues him. Reunited, Pancho learns all the money Papá saved for the family was stolen by a crow gang. Pancho guides them home, but happiness is short-lived, as the family must decide who will—and how to—return north if the rains still refuse to come. Textured earth tones are digitally collaged to create Pancho's world, where the river's darkness and desert's sweltering heat are inescapable. Geometric shapes define the characters' faces, making them reminiscent of Aztec stone carvings. But Tonatiuh's great strength is in the text. No word is wasted, as each emotion is clearly and poignantly expressed. The rabbits' future is unknown, but their love and faith in each other sustains them through it all. Accessible for young readers, who may be drawn to it as they would a classic fable; perfect for mature readers and the classroom, where its layers of truth and meaning can be peeled back to be examined and discussed. An incandescent, humane and terribly necessary addition to the immigrant-story shelf. (Picture book. 5-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781419705830
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
05/07/2013
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
253,075
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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