Friday, January 20, 2012

Old Coyote by Nancy Wood

With its evocative cover, its beautiful starred-filled end papers, its touching text, and warm yellows and golds throughout the entire publication, this book about an aged coyote would capture anyone's heart. A lone coyote reminisces as he wanders through his habitat, bidding goodbye to his friends and giving thanks to all the elements of nature before he finally ventures forward into a new world. Illustrator Max Grafe's double page spread as coyote contemplates the end of his journey is simple stunning and no text is necessary to convey the poignant sentiment. The back cover suggests this is a book to be enjoyed by 5-8 year olds, but I beg to differ. There are not many books which deal with death as well as this one does. Adults, older readers and the very young can all benefit greatly from this story which very simply and gently portrays death as a natural part of life whether animal or man.

Old coyote went up to the top of the tunnel and looked out. It was a clear night, with millions of stars shining overhead. He knew them all by heart. Little bats flew past. And nighthawks. A full moon shone. "Sister Moon," he said, "light the path I have to take." And sister Moon did just that.

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