________________ CM . . . . Volume IV Number 4 . . . . October 17, 1997

cover Coyote in Love.

Retold and illustrated by Mindy Dwyer.
Seattle, WA: Alaska Northwest Books, 1997.
Distributed by Graphic Arts Center.
3019 Northwest Yeon Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97210.
1-800-452-3032 (no Canadian distributor)
32pp., cloth, $15.95US.
ISBN 0-88240-485-7.

Subject Headings:
Coyote (Legendary character)-Legends.
Legends-Oregon-Crater Lake.
Indians of North America-Folklore.

Preschool - grade 2 / Ages 4 - 7.
Review by Valerie Nielsen.

*** /4

image "This is an old tale of love and the way things came to be ... back in the days when Coyote had magic powers." So begins Mindy Dwyer's Coyote in Love, a story about that ultimate trickster and mischievous hero of native American folklore. Instead of making mischief, however, poor Coyote is captivated by a beautiful blue star. In search of his lovely star, he travels to the top of a mountain. There he stretches toward the heavens, begging the radiant blue star to become his wife. Alas, she rejects his love and thrusts him back to earth where he crashes into the mountain top so hard that nothing remains but a gaping hole. Coyote's heart is broken, his paws are blue, and he cries blue tears. Soon his blue tears fill up the great hole in the mountain top. It is in this way, so the story tells readers, that the clear blue lake which today is called Crater Lake came to be.

      According to the author's notes, Coyote in Love is based on a story told by Coquelle Indian storyteller Susan Walgamott. Although it is slightly disappointing to see Coyote as the victim of a foolish infatuation rather then a wily perpetrator of mischief, this retelling of a Northwest Coyote legend is exceptionally appealing. Dwyer's bright, whimsical water-colours are combined with a striking use of stylized patterns and simple shapes. Coyote in Love is fun to read because the author has sprinkled a perfectly paced text with words of different colours, shapes and textures which often dance or leap unexpectedly across the page. Mindy Dwyer's first children's book should prove a valuable addition to the folklore collection in school libraries. Whether chosen by a beginning reader or by a parent or teacher as a read-aloud, Coyote in Love will provide an enjoyable introduction to one of North American's most popular legendary characters.

Highly recommended.

Valerie Nielsen is teacher-librarian at Bairdmore Elementary School in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364