July 25, 2017

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Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari | SLJ Review

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redstarGianferrari, Maria. Coyote Moon. illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. 32p. further reading. websites. Roaring Brook. Jul. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626720411. Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari

K-Gr 2 –A captivating and atmospheric title about a mother coyote on the hunt through a suburban landscape. Readers join the coyote as she leaves her pups in the den and travels through a neighborhood, a golf course, and a lakeside—all in pursuit of a mouse, a flock of geese, a rabbit, and, finally, one unfortunate turkey. The text is spare, with a focus on the coyote’s movement and use of her senses: she listens to the scratching of the mouse, sniffs the air and smells the geese, lunges, slinks, pounces, and much more. With the arrival of the sun and the success of her hunt, the coyote lets out a celebratory “Yeeeep-yip-yip-yoooo” before heading back to feed and snuggle with her young. Readers looking for straightforward facts won’t find them within the text; the dynamic and richly detailed illustrations are what tell the story here. Ibatoulline uses color, shadow, and dramatic angles to portray the coyote’s athleticism, her hunting style, the flight response of her prey, and the passage of time (the narrative begins at night and ends with dawn). Back matter expands on the coyote’s origin in the United States and its habitat, territory, diet, physical abilities, communication, and family structure. VERDICT Simple text and remarkable artwork make this a great selection for read-alouds and parent-child bonding.–Kelly Topita, Anne Arundel County Public Library, MD

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2016 issue.

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