COYOTE AND THE MAGIC WORDS by Phyllis Root

COYOTE AND THE MAGIC WORDS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Drawing on legends of southwestern Native Americans, Root formulates a new tale of the creation and the genesis of story: ``The Maker-of-all-things spoke the world into being''-- `` `Earth' ''; `` `Moon'...'Stars' ''; `` `Sage'...'Juniper, cedar, pine' ''; `` `...jack rabbit, coyote' ''; last, she makes ``us.'' Then comes a time when words are magic and need only be spoken to be true, and when most creatures are content. Only Coyote is bored; mischievously, he incites a man to say ``rain'' while a woman says ``sun,'' and another pair to proclaim, at once, ``night'' and ``day.'' In consequence, the Maker-of-all- things declares words no longer magic but then relents a bit: While it's told, a story's words are magic still. Root's Coyote is appropriately childlike; her lively narration is well-honed and agreeably informal, just right for oral sharing. In freely rendered, luminous art, Speidel revels in the Southwest's sunset colors while peopling the tale with deftly sketched pueblo dwellers, a stately Maker/Mother, and the slinky, insinuating Coyote. A sensible afterword distinguishes inspiration from invention. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-10308-1
Page count: 32pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1993




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